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Print media should reinvent itself in social media age, says Rupin Sharma

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By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Nov 16, 2022 7:38 pm
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Members of the Kohima Press Club along with guests on the occasion of National Press Day in Kohima. (EM Images)
Naorem Nishikanta Singh speaking on the occasion of National Press Day in Dimapur on Wednesday. (EM Images)

Our Correspondent/Reporter
Kohima/Dimapur, Nov. 16 (EMN):
Director General of Police (Prisons, Home Guards, Civil Defence and SRDF), Rupin Sharma, on Wednesday called for print media to reinvent itself, lest it is “rendered redundant” in the age of social media.

He was speaking on the occasion of National Press Day organised by the Kohima Press Club in Kohima on Wednesday.

He also pointed out that investigative journalism is lacking in Nagaland media, which is important for every media in the state and country.

He viewed fear of governance, peer pressure, inability to take the story out, and lack of confidence and conviction, as some reasons for the lack of investigative journalism in the state. Towards this, he challenged more investigative journalists who can collaborate with activists in the future.

Sharma also said Nagaland media is the least corrupted and polluted, ‘except on tribal lines’.

The DGP also emphasised on the importance of getting the “fact at the top”.

“If one gets the facts incorrect, everything becomes false,” he said.

He further said that the media can play a role in making social welfare schemes reach out to the people. “Can the media of Nagaland function as a bridge between the people and the government”, he said, adding that the media is a ‘collector, collator, disseminator of information’.

Members of the Dimapur Press Club along with guests on the occasion of National Press Day in Dimapur. (EM Images)

Speaking on the theme ‘the media’s role in nation building,’ he said nation building means one who can build good and honest people and who can question the authority of the governance.

‘For a nation to be built, one person is not enough and everyone has to work in cohesion, which comes from respecting each other; but also pushing the limits. Media plays a big role in all these’, he said.

General Secretary of KPC, Atono Tsukru Kense said that National Press Day is symbolic of a free and responsible press in India.

“This was the day on which the Press Council of India started functioning as a moral watchdog to ensure that the press maintained the high standards expected from this powerful medium and was not fettered by the influence or threats of any extraneous efforts.

“Commemorating the day, the PCI has given ‘the role of media in nation building’ as the theme to appreciate, analyse and ascertain the plausible ways that may pave the way towards preserving the standards of Indian media which is celebrated as the fourth pillar of the state.

“In this era of digitalisation, we are witnessing ethical journalism being inundated in an abyss of immediacy and sales, rather than professionalism and credibility. We are in such a time where many are charmed by the digital spaces and have become pseudo-journalists – distorting the ethics of journalism. This present scenario has added challenges to our profession besides censorship, “scenario has brought added challenges to our profession besides censorship”, she observed.

She reminded all to stand by the code of journalistic ethics i.e. truth and accuracy, being independent voices, fairness and impartiality, accountability and humanity.

The Kohima Press Club Impact Journalism Award 2022 was conferred to journalist Vishu Rita Krocha in appreciation of her contribution towards rural journalism, highlighting grassroots level success stories.

Dr. Kekhrie Yhome, chairman of NBOCWWB gave away the KPC-NBOCWWB media fellowship certificates and grant money to three fellows — Henlly Phom Odyuo, Medolenuo Ambrocia and Limasenla Jamir.

 Meanwhile, Assistant professor of Journalism and Mass Communication Department, St Joseph University, Chümoukedima, Naorem Nishikanta Singh,  asserted that in the Northeast, the broadcasting circle and circulation is ‘small’ and ‘difficult to generate revenue from news’, but a journalist should remain confined within the ethics and responsibilities of journalism despite its challenges,

He was speaking during the National Press Day observation organised by Dimapur Press Club at Conference Hall of Rotary Club, Dimapur.

He shared that today, while searching for more readers and viewers to generate income, many media houses ‘knowingly or unknowingly step aside from media ethics’. He said one may give accurate information of an incident but not take the responsibility ‘just for more circulation, which will bring more problems in the society’.

Singh further shared that media acts as a bridge between public and government, and for a nation to progress, media plays an important role, as it is the ultimate weapon for the public to reach the government and authorities with their problems or grievances.

Singh asserted when used irresponsibly, media can turn into a destructive weapon and may even invite untoward incidents in the society.

‘It can bring imbalance to public order with some few words because once it is published or broadcast it reaches to all ears and eyes of society,’ he said.

Further, Singh asserted that freedom of speech and expression has its own reasonable limitations and restrictions; and it should not affect the operation of any existing law and prevent the state from making any new law.

“You do not have the right to offend someone else’s fundamental rights,” he added.

Editor of Tir Yimyim, K Temjen Jamir, who also spoke on the occasion, urged media persons to go beyond their responsibilities as watchdogs and not wait for news to come to them, but rather go beyond the traditional mindset and give more importance to what they see than what people say.

Earlier, delivering the welcome address, DPC member Tasungtetla Longkumer mentioned that journalists are the mirrors of society, who bring out the truth even in adverse circumstances, and the day symbolises freedom of the press and its responsibilities towards society.

The event was chaired by DPC member Kanili Kiho and vote of thanks was delivered by DPC Information and Publicity Secretary Akangjungla Longchar.

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By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Nov 16, 2022 7:38:06 pm