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Nagaland press reacts to suspicious media initiative

The Nagaland Press Association (NPA) expressed worries over the formation of a State chapter of Newspapers Association of India (NAI) and submission of a memorandum to the State Governor PB Acharya recently at Raj Bhawan without engaging the local journalists of Nagaland based newspapers.

“The memorandum to Governor Acharya was forwarded by one Monojit Singha, introduced as the convener of NAI’s northeast zonal committee. He was accompanied by Thungchamo Humtsoe claiming to be the Nagaland State coordinator of the NAI,” said a statement issued by the NPA. It may be noted that the memorandum was personally received by Governor Acharya on 18 April 2017. Moreover, the Nagaland chief secretary has directed the concerned department to look into the matter and take necessary actions.

“We are shocked that the so called NAI has formed its Nagaland chapter and met the head of State without even bothering to inform and coordinate with the existing newspapers published from Nagaland. None of the functional newspapers in the State are aware of this initiative. Moreover, it is verified that the office bearers of the forum are not affiliated to any local newspaper,” added the statement. The NPA asserted that no matter the concern or good intention it may have, it cannot accept the manner in which the NAI has taken such a step to connect with the Nagaland government through the backdoor and more disturbingly engaging with local youths, who have no credibility or authority to represent the existing newspapers.

One youth by the name C. Atsaba Sangtam is the State president of the NAI’s Nagaland chapter while Chichamo Humtsoe has been authorized as the State vice-president and Thungchamo Humtsoe as the State general secretary,” revealed the statement adding that they are not recognized working journalists.

The NPA expressed utter dismay that the office of the State Governor, State chief secretary and DIPR did not find it worthwhile to cross-check and verify with the working editors and publishers of newspapers in Nagaland. Instead, the government in Kohima has gone to the extent of entertaining such organizations who come through the backdoor and whose representatives have no connection at all with the local media, it maintained.

Finally the association urged the State government to carefully scrutinize the genuineness and credibility of any organization like the one in question before it entertains officially and clarify the matter in order to protect the image and credentials of the genuine media persons in the State.

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