Journalists reminded: Your job is to publicise loopholes in system
Kohima, Feb. 14 (EMN): A legislator has attributed anomaly and compromise in the delivery and implementation process of projects and policies to citizens being ignorant of their rights. Compromised quality of work, construction processes and materials etc., happen because citizens are not aware of their rights, advisor of Information and Public Relations Toshi Wungtung said during a programme in Kohima. It is the media’s job to publicise it, he said.
The advisor was speaking at a daylong workshop that was conducted on Thursday by the Press Information Bureau, the information bureau of the ministry of Information & Broadcasting, in Kohima.
During the event, Wungtung spoke about the importance of focusing on ‘complete and holistic journalism.’ A complete journalism would mean to focus on ‘the completeness in approach and by being comprehensive,’ he explained. He urged the media personnel to do ‘responsible journalism,’ and to speak the truth by ‘being scientific in approach.’ The main focus of any responsible journalist is getting the truth, right figures, right features, and the facts. These aspects of news reporting can make for a complete picture and balance, he said.
The legislator admitted that a lot of projects, schemes, policies and their implementation process were being compromised including its quality of work, construction process, materials etc. All these anomalies happen when people are not aware of their rights, and the media ought to publicise them to the public, he said.
Acknowledging that the role of the media was “extremely important” in promoting citizens’ rights and benefits, Wungtung urged the journalists to seek ‘holistic approach in journalism.’
“It’s not just good enough to have knowledge. You’re only creating awareness. Awareness is basically very important but is just half-way, half-cooked, half-baked if you don’t practice,” Wungtung remarked.
The deputy commissioner of Wokha district, Manazir Jeelani Samoon too addressed the programme. He said India boasts of being the largest democracy in the world. But the participation of the people is not there, he said. It is the Fourth Pillar (the Press) that plays an important role in ensuring the participation of the people, not only directly but indirectly, he said.
“Free and fair media” is an essential tool in democracy; the media being the watchdog of the country needs to be “strong, independent, and vibrant,” he said. That way, the administrator said, the vehicle of democracy can go on continuously without any hurdles.
Samoon advised caution against fake news being circulated in the era of social and digital media, which can have a detrimental effect on the society. He urged the media personnel to verify facts before publicising it and working on the issue.
‘Media has to stick to the basic ethical standards of journalism,’ he said. With the competition among the media channels, there is a possibility that the focus of the news houses can get lost, along the way, Samoon said.
Asserting that there was a minimal presence of the media in various districts, other than the state capital Kohima and Dimapur, Samoon urged the participants to go to the rural areas, and get first hand information. This will reflect credibility of the reports.
The general secretary of the Kohima Press Club, Alice Yhoshü spoke on the topic ‘implementation of CSS in Nagaland: A media perspective.’ “There so many centrally sponsored schemes that are being implemented in Nagaland but often, only the implementing departments are aware of the details,” she said.
“The media here has very little exposure to most of the centrally sponsored schemes as there is very little or no interaction at all between the implementing departments and journalists. There are hardly any press conferences, no study tours, and when the media persons want to do follow-up reports, often the information comes to a halt, particularly when questions are raised on funding issues,”
Yhoshü suggested active participation on the part of the departments in concern in disseminating detailed information about schemes and developmental projects. The general secretary also asked the departments to “identify and authorise an officer who can act as a contact person when media persons want to follow up on the progress of the schemes.”
Further, Yhoshü pointed out that there was a “huge gap between the PIB personnel that are stationed here in Nagaland and the local press.” She urged them to be ‘more proactive and be in touch with the journalists here, periodically if not regularly.’