Kohima, March 24 (NEx): The Press Council of India Sub Committee on a two (2) day visit to Nagaland, to evolve guidelines for the Media and Security Forces on reporting in conflict situations and to organise activities in North East States, Naxal affected areas and Jammu & Kashmir, met and interacted with Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio, DGP Nagaland, T. John Longkumer, IPS and other senior Police officers and Media persons of the state on March 22nd & 23rd, 2021.
The three member Sub-Committee is led by Convenor, Jaishankar Gupta and members Kamal Nain Narang and Pradeep Kumar.
PCI Sub-Committee Meets CM Rio:
The Press Council of India Sub-Committee met and interacted with Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio at his Residential Office on Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021 and briefed the CM on the purpose of their visit to the State, highlighting the various problems faced by journalists and media persons in the Country, particularly in conflict areas.
The Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio briefed the team on various issues and the current affairs of the state and informed that the welfare of the press fraternity in the State is relatively good as compared to other states. Rio also apprised the Sub-Committee members on the steps taken by the State Government for the welfare of the press fraternity.
The meeting was attended by the Chief Secretary, Jan E Alam, where he highlighted the situation of the State.
PCI Sub-Committee Interacts With Senior Police Officers:
The Press Council of India Sub Committee met the DGP Nagaland, T. John Longkumer, IPS and other senior Police officers of the State at PHQ Kohima on Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021, and had a lengthy discussion on matters related to media management and reporting from conflict areas.
Sub Committee Convenor, Jaishankar Gupta during the discussion expressed his concerns over the need for authentic news backed by proper facts to be presented regarding any incident or event or conflict even from the remotest areas in the State and elaborated on the role of the security forces in ensuring that the media is presented with all the proper facts and figures regarding any event and also the need to have a Nodal Officer who would be in-charge of disseminating information to the media fraternity.
He said that the Sub-Committee was visiting the state so that they could get a proper view of the ground realities in the state and to experience in person the problems or difficulties, if any, that the media might be facing in the state, only after which they would be working towards formulating certain guidelines to be followed by media and security forces on reporting from conflict areas.
DGP Nagaland, T. John Longkumer, IPS updated the team on the current scenario in the State and expressed that the State was relatively peaceful and that there were hardly any issues of security or threat to the Media Fraternity in the State and emphasised largely on the point that the Naga people enjoyed their right to freedom of speech and expression to a greater extend as compared to people living in other parts of the country. He further mentioned that the media personnel and the security forces share a very cordial relationship with each other and in fact help each other out on a very regular basis.
Other Senior Police Officers also added to the point mentioned by the DGP by saying that the Media in the State was very independent and devoid of any influence by the Government or any other organization.
PCI Sub-Committee meets media persons:
Earlier, the Directorate of Information and Public Relations organised a meeting with the Press Council Of India Sub-Committee along with media persons at hotel Japfu on Monday, March 22nd, 2021.
The Sub-Committee member, Jaishankar Gupta addressing the media said that the press face lots of problems working in conflict zones and taking side with states or being neutral in printing articles is the problem faced by the press. He remarked that across the state, often press are unable to perform their duty due to pressure from organization, NGOs or other elements.
He added that the main purpose of the interaction with the media persons was to discuss free and fair on the problems and issues faced by them while discharging their duty as journalist. He also lamented that the welfare of journalists are neglected as till date only few states have implemented welfare schemes for the journalists across the state. He also acknowledged DIPR’s initiative in providing various welfare schemes to the accredited journalist.
President, Nagaland Press Association, H Chishi a senior journalist participating in the discussion opined that today we do not know where we stand, as the media are remote controlled by certain group of people. He added that rights are being wrong and wrongs are being right.
Chishi stated that the credibility of Indian media is highly questionable by the world not because of terrorism issues of J&K but many other issues contributing in making India rank at the bottom of Free Press. He remarked the Democracy is not fully efficient without the free press. Also while extending appreciation to DIPR for providing various welfare schemes to the journalists in Nagaland, he however said that still much more needs to be done.
Director IPR, Z. Tokishe appealed to the PCI members to strongly recommend to the government of India to implement life insurance and pension schemes for the journalists of Nagaland. He also highlighted the various welfare schemes provided by the Department for the accredited journalists of Nagaland.
The team also distributed questionnaires to journalist to find out the problems and issues faced by journalists which can be filled and sent through their email or to the Director IPR. Other media persons also shared their opinions and suggestions and various problems faced by them while discharging their duties to PCI during the discussion.
(With inputs from DIPR)