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Journalists’ forum appeals for regulatory authority over ‘alternate media’
Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA), while expressing serious concern over the recent unpleasant incidents in Dima Hasao resulting in the killing two persons following a report in a news portal, has demanded for a regulatory authority for the alternate media.
The Northeast India-based journalists’ forum also urged the government to empower the Press Council (may be renamed as Media Council of India) with the inclusion of electronic and alternate media.
“It may be noted that following a report in a news portal indicating that Dima Hasao district in central Assam is supposed to be included in the proposed Nagalim under the Naga Accord with the Union government and its subsequent re-use in some local newspapers, a massive public uprising surfaced in various parts of the hills district. The public protest turned aggressive in some places and later two agitators were killed in police firings at Maibong locality,” a statement released by the forum said.
“While the concerned portal should have reported the matter with right perspective, the vernacular newspapers must have authenticated the facts before publishing the news item. It seems, those newspapers have somehow accepted the news portals as registered news agencies and hence found logical to use the content of the portal over a sensitive issue without proper verification,” the statement issued by the JFA further added.
The statement, endorsed by JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria, also urged the authority to deal with the situation effectively and also appealed to the people of Dima Hasao in particular and the state in general, to be judicious over reacting to a media report which might have been later misused by the motivated elements in the society.