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4 MLAs slam KPC stand
Published on 13 Feb. 2011 12:41 AM IST
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Four Mon MLAs have reacted sharply to Kohima Press Club (KPC) statement which defended NEPS news report over possible bifurcation of Mon district into two published in local dailies February 10.
Stating to clear the air of “misinterpretation of our intention”, the MLAs - E.E. Pangteang, Naiba Konyak and C.L. John in a statement said whilst they acknowledged the freedom of speech/press as a democratic and fundamental right, the freedom of the press did not mean “dictatorship of the press.”
MLAs said their intention was about accountability to citizens by the media through “responsible journalism”. They said NEPS report had the tendency to create “sectarianism and tension among the public”, which they stated, could lead to law and order problem.
The MLAs also denied the KPCs assertion that they had denied NEPS the privilege to issue clarification. “The question of denying the writer the privilege of clarification does not basically arise,” the Mon MLAs said.
Further, whilst admitting that the usage of word “direction” in their earlier statement must have hurt the sentiments of the writer or the press fraternity, the MLAs, however, said the report “equally and deeply” hurt their sentiments and the people of the responsible area.
The MLAs also conveyed to the KPC that their purpose was to seek clarification from Oken Jeet Sandham personally since the nature of the report involved “a high volume of misinformation with tendencies to create intentional implications in the governmental establishments and the people thereof.” Also, taking on KPC’s stand that no one can force a reporter/correspondent to disclose his/her source/s, the MLAs said: “people have equal rights to correct information and refute false and misleading information”.

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