Home » High time to bolster the media and your action, Mr. Chief Minister

High time to bolster the media and your action, Mr. Chief Minister

by Rinku Khumukcham
0 comment 3 minutes read

Media is often termed the ‘fourth pillar of democracy,’ the three others being the judiciary, executive and legislative. What it does is perform the diagnosis and treat the illness of the society. And, being the healer of society, it has the potential to bolster the development process to a remarkable extent apart from batting for the rights of the oppressed. Chief Minister N Biren Singh, a former journalist, boldly declared that he would move the mountain or die trying to architect a corruption-free Manipur in his second innings.
However, his move to revamp the anti-corruption cell and encourage people to complain about corruption practices on the ‘CM da Haisi’ platform has never effectively tackled the problem so far. The need of the hour is to equip journalists with the required skills and mastery to unearth such malpractices. And this can be achieved when the state has institutions or colleges where aspiring journalists can be trained to become one. But it is disheartening to witness the chief minister sitting idle and not even considering starting journalism courses in the state government colleges in his more than five years stint. Given his delinquency, how could the state’s journalists contribute to his endeavors to construct a corruption-free state?
The government department Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) plays a crucial role in creating mass awareness about the government policies, schemes, and development. However, most of its employees did not have formal education in journalism and mass communication, let alone the journalists of media organizations across the state. How can this be improved? One of India’s premier journalism schools, the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, recently launched Post Graduate Diploma in Digital Media, considering the prospect of digital and mobile journalism. The institute has been training and producing journalists who have made marks in reforming the developmental narrative of the country. Unfortunately, the introduction of IIMC’s new course comes at a time when the State Institute of Journalism of the Manipur Government has been dysfunctional. Lamentable.
Since September 2005, Manipur University, a central university, has been providing journalism and mass communication courses at Post Graduate level. Ph.D. program was also added in 2011. But the state government has not started such studies even at the undergraduate level. Recently the Council of Higher Secondary Education, Manipur, declared the HSC results. It would be heartbreaking for those students who aspire to be journalists when they learn that the State Government has not started UG courses in journalism. Such circumstances have even discouraged those who have cracked NET/JRF examinations or earned a Ph.D. in journalism and mass communication as they have no place to teach. It is high time that the government should ponder.
Recently, the DIPR, a department responsible for fostering public and government relations, has been facing the flak for all the wrong reasons – one of its officials is facing corruption charges, and the department is operating understaffed as the government could not declare the result of the 9-month-old recruitment examination. In addition, the department is incapable of assigning reporters to all ministers; as a result, the public is kept in the dark as to what the ministers are up to. Though the CM strives for corruption-free recruitment, the delay in declaring the results of DIPR brews the speculations that the government is playing delay tactics as DIPR has got a new minister and a new commissioner. These developments have put the department in a soup. Now, all eyes are on Chief Minister N Biren Singh to witness if he walks the talk through expediting his boastful promises.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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