KOHIMA: To strengthen democracy, the media in Nagaland must not be afraid of the truth, but need to step out and confront the truth to improve the systems. The media have to be willing and courageous to highlight the deficits, misappropriation, shortfalls in government, said Abu Metha, Advisor to Chief Minister of Nagaland.
He was speaking at the occasion of National Press Day under the theme “Who is not afraid of Media.” The State level National Press Day was organised by the Department of Information and Public Relation (DIPR), Nagaland at DIPR Conference Hall today.
The media is known as the fourth pillar of democracy which brings out the truth even in adverse circumstances. This day symbolizes freedom of the press and its responsibilities towards society, Metha said.
Naga society faces so many challenges. The government under the leadership of the Chief Minister made an announcement that it will stand for meritocracy. With this, he said meritocracy will be the benchmark of the delivery mechanism. He therefore urged the media to highlight the various challenges faced by the people and also speak about the lack of meritocracy in implementing government policies and programmes, he said.
The government compromises in delivery mechanisms, however, in many cases targeting sections are not benefiting from programmes and policies that are supposed to reach the grassromeritocracyot level. Therefore, to fulfill the role of 4th pillars of democracy, the media’s needs to carry out responsibility by walking an extra mile to ensure that the 4th pillar is contributing towards the wholesome role of democracy.
He urged the media houses to give more focus on investigative journalism. Investigative journalism needs the support of the media houses and the society as a whole, and needs to be backed up by budgets because investigative journalism is not normal reporting but it is about asking questions, putting people in discomfort and this is where the role of the fourth pillar comes in.
Democracy cannot grow, if the 4th pillar is not strong enough. The other pillar must be afraid of the media. They must know that the media is a watchdog and is watching over the other three pillars. He therefore urged the 4th pillar to ensure that it highlights the voice of the people.
The Advisor also said that there is a huge disparity between the media houses in Nagaland and outside the state. Therefore, the government and the Naga society as a whole should put its mind together on how to empower the media and how to make them benefit more.
“Let us contribute towards a stronger and fairer democracy in Nagaland. Without the freedom of the press, without the vibrant media, democracy does not exist. Let us recommit ourself, re-dedicate ourself towards the cause of democracy” he said.
Earlier, Z. Tokishe Sema, director DIPR exhorts the gathering. While Simon Telia, deputy director, DIPR chaired the event and gave the concluding remarks.