Thursday, October 6, 2022

Nagaland newspapers ‘joint public statement’

Nagaland based newspapers, including English and language dailies have expressed strong resentment over harassment and threats regularly meted out by individuals/organizations against media houses with regard to publication and non-publication of news/articles among others.
In this regard, the editors/publishers of Nagaland Post, Eastern Mirror, Morung Express, Nagaland Page, Tir Yimyim, Capi and Ao Milen have resolved to take a firm stand against all such attacks to any of the media fraternity.
“Nagaland newspapers are united and resolute in our stand against all coercions and threats in order to function freely as the fourth pillar of a democratic society. We have resolved to take a firm stand against all such attacks,” the editors and publishers stated in a joint public statement.
The newspapers, despite being the only active and functioning private enterprise in Nagaland, continue to render public service amidst a faltering infrastructure and a corrupt system. However, in the process of upholding its responsibility, the media continues to be exposed to ongoing harassment and threats by individuals and organizations that coerce the media “to publish” their articles and statements. Simultaneously, there are also people who take it upon themselves to determine what the media “cannot publish”. This also involves dissuading and threatening journalists and media houses from reporting critical stories that expose ground realities of Nagaland’s situation and condition. 
The Nagaland newspapers deem such methods as a grave threat where journalists’ lives and livelihoods become endangered as soft targets while performing their duties without security. 
In addition to journalists, another serious issue involves the safety and security of drivers delivering newspapers who travel at odd hours while transporting newspapers through villages and towns across Nagaland. Drivers are regularly stopped, harassed and even physically assaulted by miscreants. 
The Nagaland newspapers, therefore urge all sections of society to enable a free and vibrant fourth estate which is the only means to publicly confront all forms of political, economic and social suppression. Every citizen is responsible to ensure that the media is allowed to function freely.