TODAY -

The art of not displeasing the powerful : Too many pressure groups
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: April 07 2015 -



It is more than a headache-that is negotiating through the presence of numerous pressure groups, taking care not to step on anyone’s toes.

A big bane and perhaps no one knows this better than the newspaper wallahs, people who are there to disseminate information and share opinion with the readers.

Making things worse is the point that there seems to be multi-pressure groups, each coming to the fore on slogans that they are here on behalf of the people.

Nobody knows who have given them the mandate or the permission to take up a cause on behalf of the people, but such groups are there and anyone trying to defy them can invite trouble.

Such groups know no age groups and so there are different groups each espousing one cause or the other.

There could be many factors for the emergence of such groups and the failure of the Government to deliver is one of them.

When vacuums are created it is only natural that others rush in to fill these vacuums thus creating the right ambience for such groups to come up and prosper.

Globally, pressure groups are there to remind the Government to do something in the interest of certain groups of people but the manner in which such groups has multiplied down the years here is a cause for serious concern.

As noted, newspaper men and women surely feel the pinch of the presence of such groups.

Not so long back, it was the practise for some lumpen elements to come together, form a group, give it a high sounding name and start issuing statements to be delivered to the newspaper houses to have them published.

Newspaper houses which refuse to toe the directives do so at their own risk and there have been instances when newspapers have been boycotted, told to suspend publication for some period of time and do their bidding.

It is to meet the challenges that come their way that journalists have come together under the umbrella of the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union and the Editors’ Guild, Manipur.

Nothing much to suggest that things will take a turn for the better but yes journalists are today better placed to take on the forces that come their way.

It is not for nothing why numerous dharnas have been staged and the newspaper houses had to suspend publication to state their stand.

As long as some organisations or individuals are under the impression that newspapers should kow tow to their threats and diktats, there will be dissenting voices against such approaches.

This is for those who are engaged in the profession of disseminating information to the public and while everyone seems to agree that journalists dispense a vital service for everyone, no one seems ready to say something in their favour.

Rather it is more like a case of taking the profession of journalism for granted.

Pressure groups have been there for decades but it is unacceptable when newspaper houses become their target of angst and dissatisfaction against the Government.

Journalism here means more than gathering news and informing the people but also perfecting the art of not earning the wrath of the pressure groups.

A tough and thankless job it is.

On the other hand it is also true that the time has come for journalists of Manipur to question whether they are also responsible in some way for bringing such a situation upon themselves.



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