TODAY -

Piling the pressure on the media : Not professional hazards
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: December 30 2015 -



The pressure is immense.

Like any other profession, journalism too comes with its share of professional hazards, but the pressure that is mounted on the media houses here in Manipur is far removed from the classical understanding of professional hazards.

This pressure came out in all its ugly manifestation on December 14, when a self professed armed group planted a grenade at the residence of the Editor-in-Chief of Impact TV.

The reason was over the refusal of the media houses to publish a statement issued by the particular group which planted the grenade.

Not the first time that journalists here have come under threat perceptions from the numerous armed groups and this will not be the last time either.

This is the short of the story.

Tough to say when such a situation was created that armed groups came under the impression that whatever statement they issue should necessarily be published by the newspapers for mass public consumption but this is a reality and journalists here have to learn to walk the tight rope.

This is about the different armed groups and making things more dicey is the presence of numerous social organisations which expect the newspapers and the local television networks to carry whatever they issue.

It is not for nothing why The Sangai Express has been banned in certain parts of the State in the past.

Not surprisingly, it is not the content of the newspapers that Editors and senior journalists are more concerned with but to ensure that the statements issued by the different power players are not missed.

Such a state of affairs cannot be healthy for society and the profession of journalism.

But who cares ?

In the last two decades or so, technology has seen a marked improvement in the publication of newspapers as well as in news broadcasting, but how about the quality of journalism ?

Has journalism in Manipur been able to keep pace with the changes seen in technology ?

This question is important for everyone including those very groups which have been exerting undue pressure on the media do seem to acknowledge the important role of the media.

But this importance falls flat on its face when everyone assumes that whatever they issue as media statements should occupy prime space.

The media cannot be the notice board of anyone and it is the Editors and the senior journalists who should decide which news should be given prime importance and not some third party.

This is where the understanding of a free and fair media comes in.

For starters, one may raise the question, how free is the media in Manipur ?



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