Home » Northeast is gaining attention but parachute journalism has become a problem

Northeast is gaining attention but parachute journalism has become a problem

by Rinku Khumukcham
0 comment 3 minutes read
Northeast is gaining attention but parachute journalism has become a problem

The ongoing crisis that erupted in the state of Manipur on May 3, 2023, has inadvertently acted as a catalyst, drawing attention to the North Eastern states of India, offering a silver lining in an otherwise tumultuous situation. Prior to the crisis, there was a pervasive lack of interest, particularly among the academic community across the country, regarding the existence of the North Eastern states, with the exception of Assam.
It was evident that a significant portion of the Indian population was unaware that Manipur is an integral part of the Indian Union. In some instances, individuals even questioned whether those hailing from the North East and visiting mainland Indian states or cities were foreigners. The region’s people, especially students, were subjected to abuse and bullying due to their distinct appearances. Unfortunately, any event, humanitarian crisis, or natural disaster in the North East found little to no coverage in the national media, both print and electronic.
However, since the May 3, 2023 incident in Manipur, a notable shift has occurred in the perception of the North Eastern states, particularly Manipur and Mizoram. The unfolding events in Manipur began to receive coverage in mainstream media, shedding light on the region’s issues. Intellectuals across the country initiated discussions on Manipur, bringing forth a newfound awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by the North Eastern states.
The crisis, while undoubtedly posing challenges for the residents of Manipur, has inadvertently opened up avenues for dialogue and recognition on a national scale. It has prompted a reevaluation of the North Eastern states’ place in the collective consciousness of the country, fostering a hope that future discussions and media coverage will contribute to increased awareness, empathy, and support for the region.
However, the recent journalistic coverage of the ongoing crisis in Manipur has raised concerns, particularly regarding what is being termed as “parachute journalism.” This form of reporting, characterized by an outsider’s superficial and often inaccurate understanding of the situation, has come under scrutiny for its impact on the portrayal of events in the region.
The criticism stems from instances such as the recent report by the Editors Guild of India (EGI) on Manipur, which was found to contain numerous errors and speculative information that remains unverified. Another example has recently surfaced when a prominent electronic media portal, The Print, has claimed a souring increase in the recruitment of Meiteis into proscribed insurgent groups which they claim are now operating in the valley. While they cited reliable sources, the local context suggests a different reality, with indications that individuals involved in armed rebellion are transitioning towards peaceful dialogue with the government as a fall out of the crisis. For instance, Kangleipakki Meira has reported yesterday that twenty five individuals from three proscribed rebel groups are all set to lay down their arms and join the mainstream life. Moreover, Chief Minister of Manipur has asserted that more rebel groups are considering leaving violence behind.
Amidst the ongoing violence in the state, there are apprehensions and speculations that the central government might be strategically prolonging the unrest to bring Manipur based rebels back from Myanmar. This speculation compels us to have nuanced and informed reporting, as the situation is much more complicated. The reliance on half-baked information and parachute journalism, where reporters may lack in-depth local knowledge, hampers a comprehensive understanding of Manipur’s dynamics.
Despite increased attention from mainstream academics and journalists, the understanding of the situation in Manipur remains shallow. It is crucial to move beyond surface-level reporting and engage with local perspectives, fostering a more accurate portrayal of the complex issues at play. As Manipur navigates through challenging times, a commitment to responsible and well-researched journalism becomes imperative to provide the public with an informed and nuanced understanding of the situation.

You may also like

Leave a Comment


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


©2023 – All Right Reserved. Designed and Hosted by eManipur!

Adblock Detected

Please support us by disabling your AdBlocker extension from your browsers for our website.