Imphal: Media houses across Manipur ceased work for a day on Thursday in protest against the non-clearance of government advertisement bills.
Owing to the cease work strike, electronic media houses suspended broadcasting of news and other programmes related with the current events including discussion hours, while newspapers will not hit the stand on Friday, December 17.
The cease work strike was called jointly by Editors’ Guild Manipur (EGM) and Manipur Hill Journalists’ Union in protest against the non-clearance of bills for government advertisement.
“If no visible action is seen from the government side, the media will start boycotting news related to ministers followed by government and the ruling parties,” a joint statement of the two bodies cautioned.
The media houses alleged that advertisement bills for the last around two years amounting in terms of lakhs for each media house are not cleared till date despite repeated requests from the media houses.
Sources from some media houses alleged that the state government has not cleared the bills for the last two years.
The advertisements were distributed to the media houses through the state Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) and bills pending for clearance are estimated to be in terms of crores of rupees.
EGM and MHJU have decided to go ahead with the cease work strike after no visible action was taken up on the part of the state government to clear the bill despite their repeated pleas.
Earlier, the two media bodies had set deadlines to the state government on two occasions, the last date being expired on December 15.
After no positive response came despite the latest deadline, EGM and MHJU resolved to observe a cease work for a day.
Following the decision there is no news bulletin and discussion program for electronic media broadcasted on Thursday and there will be no publication of newspaper on Friday (December 17).