Imphal, Nov. 16: A one day seminar organised in connection with the National Press Day observance today highlighted issues and problems of the state media. The seminar organised by the Directorate of Information and Public Relation, Govt. of Manipur was attended by Yumnam Rupachandra, General Secretary, Editors’ Guild Manipur, Sothing Shimray, Ex-President Manipur Hills Journalists’ Union and Sanju Bachaspatimayum, member All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union as main speakers. Veteran Journalist AK Sanaton moderated the session.
All the three speakers highlighted the issues and problems of journalist of the state due to the rampant threats from both state and non state actors. The issues of journalists still deprived of their right from getting minimum wage as approved by the Majitha Wage board as well as the non compliance of the Supreme Court order in providing appropriate wage for journalist.
Former President of the Manipur Hill Journalists’ Union, Sothing Shimray while reading his paper highlighted on how the hill region are somehow deprived by the main newspapers in the state. he said like the Manipur felt neglected in terms of news coverage by the national mainstream media houses, the Hill people of the state somehow felt that the hill people are being neglected by the Imphal base newspaper as they hardly covered issue of the hill people.
On the other hand Sothing Shimray also drew the attention of the Directorate of Information and Public relation over non functioning of DIO offices at Hill districts.
While presenting his paper Yumnam Rupachandra, General Secretary of Editors’ Guild Manipur expressed apprehension about the fate print media particularly the local language newspaper which are being printed in Bengali scripts. He said that newspapers that are being published in Manipuri language using Bengali script is going to face serious problem as youths who have completed graduate are in no position to read in Bengali script as they have been taught and learnt in Meitei Mayek. The reviving of the Meitei Mayek is appreciated and should be done but when it comes to the newspaper it is a great challenge, Rupachandra said.
“No newspaper can published both in Meitei Mayek as well as Bengali script to enable both groups of people who are able to read in Bengali script as well as who are able to read in Meitei Mayek”, Rupachandra said. he further added that as the process will take some times the government of Manipur should formulate a mechanism either in way of providing subsidies or grant to enable all the people access to the newspaper.
Sanju Bachaspatimayum elaborated on the threats to media houses and need to make sure that working journalist are secure while rendering their duties.
President of Editor Guild Manipur A Mobi, in his observation appealed all government authority to accept criticism by the journalist as it would be another chances for correcting the wrongs. There is no such words as constructive criticism or non constructive journalism. Every criticism is for the welfare of the state, it should be accepted at any cost Mobi said.