Nagaland Press Clubs Observe National Press Day - Eastern Mirror
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Nagaland press clubs observe National Press Day

By EM Bureau Updated: Nov 16, 2023 10:40 pm
National Press Day
Monalisa Changkija speaking during the National Press Day event organised by Kohima Press Club on Thursday.

DIMAPUR/ KOHIMA — Along with the rest of the country, the media fraternity in Nagaland also observed National Press Day on Thursday on the theme ‘Media in the era of artificial intelligence.’

The Dimapur Press Club (DPC), Kohima Press Club (KPC) and Mokokchung Press Club (MPC) observed the day in their respective districts. 

‘Nagaland generates mere 12% revenue internally’

Additional Commissioner for Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST), Dimapur, Sashiwapang, on Thursday disclosed that Nagaland generates a mere 12% of its revenue internally, relying on the central government for the remaining 88%.

This dependency, the revenue official said, limits the state’s flexibility in various initiatives.

Sashiwapang was speaking during the observance of National Press Day organised by the DPC.

Underscoring the need to explore avenues to enhance the state’s revenue generation, he mentioned that Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio had also, in his recent budget speech, discussed initiatives aimed at increasing the state’s revenue generation.

The revenue official also claimed that there is shift in the central government’s perspective towards Nagaland, as evidenced by the increased visits of Union ministers and bureaucrats to the state, including the remote areas.

This, he insisted, heightens the state’s responsibility regarding the utilisation of the funds it receives from the Centre.

Emphasising on the need to promote entrepreneurship in Nagaland, Sashiwapang remarked that discussions about industrialisation in the state invariably lead to the issue of land ownership.

He highlighted that Nagaland is losing about INR 1,800 crore annually in royalties due to the absence of oil exploration.

He voiced concern that if the people of Nagaland continue to leave their natural resource deposits untapped, their value might diminish as the world shifts towards green energy.

He emphasised the need for a “breakthrough” in the state, urging the people to collaborate and devise effective strategies.

On the theme of the day – Media in the era of Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Sashiwapang observed that the nature of news has evolved, particularly due to the advent of social media and the functioning of algorithms.

He highlighted the pivotal role social media now plays in daily life, noting that it is imperative for politicians to be active on platforms such as X (formerly known as Twitter).

He pointed out that, in the present context, every media house must have an Instagram account for disseminating news and remarked how the spread of news has transformed in the current times.

The official also admitted that social media users disseminating news may not exhibit the same level of responsibility for fact-checking and analysis as traditional media outlets.

While acknowledging that artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a double-edged sword, he however argued that AI should be embraced for performing routine tasks, suggesting that people should not shy away from it but rather adapt to its presence.

According to him, AI also introduces new challenges.

On the occasion, Sashiwapang commended the state’s media houses for largely refraining from taking sides and maintaining impartiality. However, he also observed that news related to economics and taxation do not receive the coverage they merit.

Editor of Tir Yimyim, K Temjen Jamir, also spoke on the occasion.

DPC president, Imkong Walling delivered the welcome address and the club’s vice president, Honikali Lohe, proposed vote of thanks. The programme was chaired by DPC executive member, Paudi Renta.

AI has enormous ramifications for media — Changkija

Editor and publisher of Nagaland Page, Monalisa Changkija, said that AI has enormous ramifications for the media, one way or another.

The senior editor highlighted the ethical concerns of AI that have been raised globally including the lack of creativity and empathy, limiting its ability to understand emotions or produce original ideas.

These are serious concerns for the media whose work is meant to be based on creativity, empathy and originality, Changkija said during the National Press Day event organised by the KPC at APO conference hall.

Speaking on this year’s theme ‘Media in the era of artificial intelligence,’ the editor wondered whether the media will grow or perish with AI.

“Technology has increasingly made the human being redundant leading to unemployment and even ending numerous cultures and creations born of the human heart, mind and hands. 

“As with all technology, AI too would eventually work out much cheaper if used, so wouldn’t the media, as an institution, mandated to uphold democratic ethics, cultures and traditions pay a steep price?” Changkija asked.

She said these are issues that the media must dwell on and delve into in all seriousness because AI, as a foe, could very well end all aspects of the very institution of the media.

“As a friend, AI could enhance the media but only if we do not let it control us. This would be difficult because we have seen that the machine has consistently conquered and controlled the human being. Think of social media – both a boon and a bane – underscoring the user’s ethics quotient,” she said.

She also pointed out the issue of the right to privacy hasn’t even started a discourse in Nagaland.

“How would we, as the media, address the increasing invasive nature of AI, which is bound to permeate into our politics and governance, cultures and thought processes? Are we aware of the challenges AI would present and are we, as the media, preparing to confront these challenges? Even in the literary field, are we preparing to confront these challenges, as apparently AI can replace writer and poets? Are we preparing to protect our autonomy and agency as human beings? Or, are we so enamoured with name and fame that we will have no compunction to use AI to make a mark in our journalistic and creative pursuits? Apparently, this is already happening”, she said.

“The media is supposed to be leaders of thoughts, opinions and decision-making – not followers”, Changkija said.

On the occasion, the Kohima Press Club ‘Impact Journalism Award 2023’ was conferred to Moa Jamir of The Morung Express.

President of KPC, Alice Yhoshü, said the award to Jamir was in appreciation of his journalistic work in highlighting issues of public concern that need attention and action.

CM Rio, Patton greet media fraternity

Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton have greeted the press and media fraternity of Nagaland on the occasion of National Press Day.

“Today, we honour the pillar of democracy that keeps us informed, holds the powerful accountable and ensures voices are heard. A free press is essential for a thriving society. We must support the Fourth Estate,” Rio wrote in X.

The deputy chief minister, in a post on X, wrote, “The role of media in shaping public opinion and being the voice of the voiceless cannot be overstated.

“Today, as we navigate an era of information overload and AI, the role of the press in disseminating accurate and impactful stories becomes even more critical.”

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By EM Bureau Updated: Nov 16, 2023 10:40:07 pm
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