Print media should reinvent itself in social media age, says Rupin Sharma

Kohima Press Club members and guests attended the National Press Day celebrations in Kohima. (EM Images)
Naorem Nahikanta Sing speaks on Wednesday at Dimapur’s National Press Day. (EM Images)

Our Correspondent/Reporter
Kohima/Dimapur, Nov. 16 (EMN):
Director General of Police (Prisons, Home Guards, Civil Defence and SRDF), Rupin Sharma, on Wednesday called for print media to reinvent itself, lest it is “rendered redundant” in the age of social media.

On Wednesday, he spoke on behalf of National Press Day, which was organized by the Kohima Press Club.

He also highlighted the fact that Nagaland media lacks investigative journalism, which is crucial for all media in the country and state.

He identified fear of governance as well as peer pressure, inability and inability of taking out the story, and a lack of confidence and conviction as the reasons for the low level of investigative journalism in the government. To this end, he called for more investigative journalists to work with activists.

Sharma also said Nagaland media is the least corrupted and polluted, ‘except on tribal lines’.

The DGP also emphasised on the importance of getting the “fact at the top”.

“If one gets the facts incorrect, everything becomes false,” he said.

He said that the media could help make social welfare schemes more accessible to people. “Can the media of Nagaland function as a bridge between the people and the government”, he said, adding that the media is a ‘collector, collator, disseminator of information’.

Dimapur Press Club members and guests joined the celebration of National Press Day in Dimapur. (EM Images)

Speaking on the theme ‘the media’s role in nation building,’ he said nation building means one who can build good and honest people and who can question the authority of the governance.

‘For a nation to be built, one person is not enough and everyone has to work in cohesion, which comes from respecting each other; but also pushing the limits. Media plays a big role in all these’, he said.

Atono Tsukru Kense, General Secretary of KPC said that the National Press Day symbolizes a free and responsible press here in India.

“This was the day on which the Press Council of India started functioning as a moral watchdog to ensure that the press maintained the high standards expected from this powerful medium and was not fettered by the influence or threats of any extraneous efforts.

“Commemorating the day, the PCI has given ‘the role of media in nation building’ as the theme to appreciate, analyse and ascertain the plausible ways that may pave the way towards preserving the standards of Indian media which is celebrated as the fourth pillar of the state.

“In this era of digitalisation, we are witnessing ethical journalism being inundated in an abyss of immediacy and sales, rather than professionalism and credibility. We are in such a time where many are charmed by the digital spaces and have become pseudo-journalists – distorting the ethics of journalism. This present scenario has added challenges to our profession besides censorship, “scenario has brought added challenges to our profession besides censorship”, she observed.

She reminded everyone to adhere to the code of journalistic ethics, i.e. Truth and accuracy, independent voices, fairness & impartiality and accountability are all important.

Vishu Rita Crocha was presented with the Kohima Press Club Impact Journalism Award in 2022. This award recognizes her efforts towards rural journalism, and highlights grassroots success stories.

Dr. Kekhrie Yhome, chairman of NBOCWWB gave away the KPC-NBOCWWB media fellowship certificates and grant money to three fellows — Henlly Phom Odyuo, Medolenuo Ambrocia and Limasenla Jamir.

 Meanwhile, Assistant professor of Journalism and Mass Communication Department, St Joseph University, Chümoukedima, Naorem Nishikanta Singh,  asserted that in the Northeast, the broadcasting circle and circulation is ‘small’ and ‘difficult to generate revenue from news’, but a journalist should remain confined within the ethics and responsibilities of journalism despite its challenges,

He spoke at the National Press Day observation, Dimapur Press Club Conference Hall of Rotary Club Dimapur.

He shared that today, while searching for more readers and viewers to generate income, many media houses ‘knowingly or unknowingly step aside from media ethics’. He said one may give accurate information of an incident but not take the responsibility ‘just for more circulation, which will bring more problems in the society’.

Singh shared further that media acts as an intermediary between the public and the government. For a nation to succeed, media plays a crucial role as it is the best weapon for the public to contact the authorities and the government with any grievances or problems.

Singh said that media can be a destabilizing weapon and invite undesirable incidents to the society if it is used unreasonably.

‘It can bring imbalance to public order with some few words because once it is published or broadcast it reaches to all ears and eyes of society,’ he said.

Singh further stated that freedom to speak and express oneself has its limits and restrictions. This should not be a hindrance to the operation or the ability of the state make new laws.

“You do not have the right to offend someone else’s fundamental rights,” he added.

K Temjen jamir, Editor of Tir Yimyim spoke at the event. He urged media personnel to think beyond their roles as watchdogs. Instead of waiting for news to arrive, they should look beyond the conventional mindset and place more emphasis on what they see and less on what people say.

Tasungtetla Longkumer, DPC member, had earlier mentioned that journalists are society’s mirrors, who reveal the truth in all circumstances. This day represents freedom of expression and society’s responsibilities.

Kanili Kiho, a DPC member, presided over the event and Akangjungla Longchar, DPC Information and Publicity secretary, gave a vote of thanks.

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