Jaipur, August 10 2018 — There is hardly any mention of journalists dying in the North East unlike the visibility of violence against media professionals in other parts of India, Patricia Mukhim, the editor of Shillong Times, said at the Talk Journalism conclave here said on Friday.
“Large number of people did a candlelight march after Gauri Lankesh’s murder but no one gets affected when a reporter is murdered in the North East,” Mukhim said. In April a bomb was hurled at Mukhim’s house in Meghalaya’s Umpling. Mukhim escaped unhurt.
She said most news channels in the north eastern states are owned by politicians and they “guide” the editors about what not be published.
Author Samrat Choudhary pointed out the difficulties journalists face in the region. “There are varied cultures in the North East and it’s dangerous for journalists to report outside their own community,” he said.
“If we go against militants’ will, we would receive death threats in Assam, where most media organizations are run by politicians. Citizens of North East believe journalists to be the enemies of the government,” he said.
Tulika Devi, a senior journalist working for News18, Assam, complained about the decline in the number of reporters on the ground. She wants the number to go up so that the area doesn’t stay isolated and unaffected by the rest of the country.
Fortunately, the present government is showing concern and extended support for the region, said senior journalist Sajjad Ali. “They have introduced pension and housing schemes for journalists,” he said.
Text: Urja | Copy edit: Urja | Photo: Urja | Photo desk: Anu Sonia |Editorial coordination: Jyoti Mamnani
This report was filed during Live Newsroom workshop conducted by Institute of Integrated Digital Journalism and Mass Communication (IIDJM) at Talk Journalism 2018.