Is Unbiased Reporting in possible by the Media in North-East?


Nagaland has encroached upon around 24,635.83 hectares of land in the D-Sector, while about 18,365.74 hectares of Assam land has been grabbed by this neighbouring state in the A-Sector of the inter-state border, which is known also as the Diphu Reserve Forest. 60 per cent of the around 17,152 hectares of land in the Dakhin Nambar Reserve Forest called the B-Sector of the Assam-Nagaland border, is under the encroachment of Nagaland.  Naga miscreants set fire to the dwelling house of Powal Handique on the night of August 27. The miscreants also abducted a woman Mina Teron from the village, which falls in the D-Sector of the Assam-Nagaland border. Later, the women of the Mikir Basti Jyotipathar rescued Mina Teron. How will the newspapers in Nagaland report this? Or will it even report? Even if there is a report, the perspective will be from that of Nagaland. Here truth will be sacrificed for territorial expansion. Though the style of expansion of NSCN (IM) is very primitive in concept, the modern media of Nagaland never guides the public on the lines of fact.

On August 13, the Assam Police outpost under construction at Charaipung in Sivasagar district was demolished  by miscreants. They also assaulted the workers engaged in the construction of the outpost. The attackers claimed that the area belonged to Arunachal Pradesh, though it was far before the Teok river, which is the ‘status quo’boundary line between Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. Tension spread among the people of Charaipung after a shoot-out between Assam Police personnel and NSCN (K) militants on the evening of August 15, the Independence Day.  How will the newspapers in Arunachal Pradesh report this? The news story will be tilted towards Arunachal Pradesh and though the miscreants are at fault will be defended by the newspaper management.

Meghalaya is said to have encroached upon Langpih and Khanapara in Kamrup district.  How will the newspapers in Meghalaya report this issue? The blame will always be shifted on Assam.

On 29 August, 5 Nyishi men had an altercation with a Mising inhabited village over a marital discord between two families in two border villages, one in Arunachal Pradesh, the other in Assam. How did the media in Assam cover the incident? The personal clash between two families became an inter-state border problem.

The above examples should be taken up by the reporters, journalists, editors and other people associated with the media as a test to check and realize their integrity and unbiasedness in news reporting. Journalism should be non-biased. A true and honest journalist should not take sides and let public know the fact. Facts should be the object of worship and not the boundary expansion of the state. Irresponsible and biased reporting will cause further damage to the growing boundary disputes in north-east. Is it possible to organize workshops and training programmes to sensitize the mediapersons about the nuances of reporting in such conflict zones? Is it possible to bring the journalist fraternity of north-eastern states under a common platform and mould them into mature, responsible journalists and unbiased editors?

Yours faithfully,
M.R.D. Road, Guwahati- 781003.


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