Leader Writer : Paojel Chaoba
Media in the state presently is in between a devil and the deep blue sea scenario.To publish or not to publish any news material nowadays hardly rest on the shoulder of the Editor.It is an unfortunate affair that the public have been denied the right to information for the last three days.
The conflict situation in the state repeatedly affects the workings of the media , as similar circumstances have presented itself in the past. The members of the journalist fraternity so called the fourth estate which consist of persons are considered adept in handling any eventualities, but the disease of factionalism among the insurgents which rears it’s ugly head every now and then is a hard problem to tackle as the effects of factionalism constantly hinders the media in carrying out our duties.
The tussle between KCP (MTF) Keso and Sunil,the latter being the new faction of the group demand that their views be published ,similarly Keso also warns that Sunil’s statement cannot be published. Both threatens dire consequences if their demands are not met by the media. In such circumstances ,the media houses resolve not to publish the papers after through deliberation as there is no escape route otherwise.
Most of the senior journalist including the editors leave the presses after their paper have been put to bed ,and if any miscreants want to cause bodily harm then there are no easier targets than the mediapersons who leave their work stations anti meridian. The easiest targets are us as routine work is involved and one cannot remain absent for a particular stretch.
It is acceptable that one might be killed in the line of duty and maybe considered as a professional hazard , but if the persons who are demanding “Independence” and working for the welfare of the public turns on the media. It becomes highly questionable on what their true motives are ? The editors have the right to publish any material deemed newsworthy or not to publish if otherwise , the experience ,professionalism and not to mention maintaining a neutral stance have to be considered by the editors before publication of any news article, this is the duty performed and ethics have to be maintained.
Whereas if factionalism dictates the news material, then the sole objectivity of the media is lost. Working under such circumstances , the Manipur media has a tough time maintaining the principles of journalism and the best option presents itself by shutting down the press and protesting.
The blame cannot go to the factions also, but also to the scribes body of the state for not for taking a permanent stand in such circumstances . Similar scenarios have presented itself in the past and lessons should have been learnt then. The incapacity of some of the senior journalist to decide on a particular course of action and making temporary arrangements which borders on escapism have burdened the media with more problems than solutions. A temporary solution is not a solution and we all have to work on that otherwise there will be no meaning of being the fourth estate.
Our fickleness have also cost the public of important information, the update of the LPG distribution which have remained unpublished will cost the public dearly and crimes perpetrators may get off easily as their cases have not been highlighted either.