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Is the mass-media reflecting public opinion in Nagaland?



Some of those who voted  YES had this to say:
•    Yes the mass media is reflecting public opinion in Nagaland. Now a days, we can see lots of people speaking out their opinion through the newspapers which really is encouraging the public to speak out. And I think that the media is doing a good job in helping the public voice out their opinion.
•    I applaud the media in Nagaland for their contribution to public service. In a place like Nagaland where there is no infrastructure and where there is not enough resources to support an industry like the media, the newspapers in Nagaland must be working against all odds. From this point of view I salute them. But there is so much more room for improvement. The quality of writing must improve and their reporting be much more comprehensive. Just reporting what the ministers and bureaucrats are saying is not fair, their reporting must also cover what the public is saying. Only when the public voices are reported can there be change in Nagaland.
•    Yes, when the mass media is good, society progresses. I am hoping they can cover all parts of Nagaland and collect ideas and opinions from people irrespective of class. Lastly, I wish they can make better use of spellings…No name misspelling please!
•    Yes, very much!! by it alone people can say what they feel at heart and it makes us bold to venture beyond which was unknown before.  i encourage everyone to use it without fear as we have the right to tell what we feel. it release us from the shackle of traditional constraints.

Some of those who  voted NO  had this to say:
•    The newspapers are not reflecting the public opinion in Nagaland. They don’t seem to be knowing the pulse of the people. They only seem to be too preoccupied reporting events and programs where only big shots are there are chief guests. The newspapers are not going beyond the surface. In fact the newspapers should be playing a leading role in fighting corruption, instead of just praising those big shots who are the most corrupted people in Nagaland.
•    Not really. I think the local media should be appreciated for providing ample space for articles and counter-rejoinders, but this does not mean that it is reflecting the public opinion in Nagaland. The views of individuals like Thepfulhouvi Solo, Kaka Iralu, Kekhrie Yhome, Agono Iralu, Khrietuonyü Noudi, Dr Sao Tunyi, Jack T. Chakhesang, Kevi Meru and others which are the regular features in the local newspapers are one thing, but they dont represent the entire view of the public. What the newspapers need to do is ask for views and opinions of the public. For the local media to reflect public opinion, the journalists and writers need to take steps to interact and meet with the public and write their views in the stories. Meeting only ministers and big shots are not enough. So, while the local media gives space for articles and rejoinders in their newspapers, they hardly carry stories that reflect the public opinion. I dont know if this is the fault of Editors or the reporters.
•    Not at all. All we read is what the chief guest has said in functions. Who are the chief guests, they are the chief minister, ministers, parliamentary secretary, mla and bureaucrats. Where then is the opinion of the common man and woman. It seems like the newspapers are there only to tell the stories of the rich and the powerful, while the voice of the public is being silenced.

Some of those who voted OTHERS had this to say:
•    Local media? I'm afraid it's only partially reflective. A predominant share of local news space is consumed in the coverage of programmes, functions, and other less public interest features. Among the many crucial media roles, critical-investigative-adversarial, public education, and agenda building roles serve to not only draw public opinion but also shape it, which in turn can spur various stakeholders, very importantly the government, into positive action. In this respect, it would serve well to reach out to 'different sections' - farmers, rural folks, social workers, various professionals, academicians, specialized experts from, say, economics and agriculture, entrepreneurs, social organizations, and so on - of public for eliciting views on key issues affecting our society. Also, there's a need to increase coverage on other districts of the state, beyond the somewhat over-fixated hubs of Dimapur and Kohima.
•    Given our situation the mass media in Nagaland is doing a commendable job. They have in many ways contributed to the society. But let us also look at it critically. Why only hold the mass-media responsible. Lets also look at ourselves and how the society looks at the mass media. We the public don’t view the media as it is, rather we are all trying to use the mass media for our own personal benefits. The ministers, politicians and bureaucrats patronize some of the news reporters for their own benefit. It is time that the society nurtures the mass media, not for their own personal benefit, but for the benefit for the society as a whole.
•    Very relevant question especially for the growing media, or newspaper agencies in the state. Is there interaction between the media and the public? Are we able to communicate relevant, positive or society-changing reforms through the media? Indian media does a lot of damage here because, for instance if you consider Bollywood a lot of things are blown-over. There is very little reality and in fact the media projects an unhealthy rich, lavish lifestyle, jetting all over the world, also a wrong interpretation of women only as 'item girls'. But the news channel or media has also ignored addressing pressing issues and run along a politic group of party. For example many farmers in India are struggling and also committing suicide because they are knee-deep in debt but the media is silent here. I feel bollywood has a very damaging effect on Indian society and takes them further and further away from reality.
•    Another question i'd like to ask, if I may: Is the media being responsible? The media can project whatever opinion, whims it likes and it can also project what the people are currently endorsing, like, prefer. But I want to ask whether the media is being responsible? Say, like a guardian, even, where it doesn't necessarily need to censor but processes what comes in, like outside influence, west-toxicated ideologies or positive-negative occurrences in the society. The media is like watch dog, or makes us think instead of just absorbing news from outside or within our community. for example, the entertainment section in Morung express, say. it is necessary and i understand but if we should delve further is it a responsibility of the newspaper or reporters to balance this fascination of hollywood, celebrities, stars and the West? We're just channeling news and information we can say but I guess what I’m trying to come at is where we also have a responsible part to play there.
•    Allow me to seize this opportunity to dwell on the question posed. Reflecting public opinion is essentially a two-way function, involving the interlocking roles of both the media and the public. One cannot do without the other. As pointed out earlier, media's critical-investigative-adversarial, public education, and agenda building functions, among others, are pivotal to bringing to the fore issues of public importance and making the public responsive to such issues. This, by extension, also calls for an equally active and social good-driven public. It is to the credit of dailies like The Morung Express for being sensitive and accommodating to the need to give a greater space to public opinion. Some suggestions toward that end:
1) Enable a platform for representation of diverse opinions. In this connection, contribution of special articles on a wide range of issues can be sought from different specialists or publicly spirited groups or individuals. For example, regular contribution on diverse subjects such as poverty, employment, economy, politics, agriculture, horticulture, environment, public health, education, rural issues, governance, sports, culture and lifestyle, etc can coalesce to form a reasonable spectrum of public opinion.
2) Special stories can be done on socio-economic conditions of different sections of population, especially the rural poor and other less advantaged groups, so that various issues confronting them, and their views, get reflected in the media. Other issues like woman and child development may be given adequate coverage.
3) Rather than the hackneyed, and often vitriolic, paper war of 'rejoinders' and 'counter-rejoinders', a form of public education under the format of 'Debate' - something on the lines of The Hindu's - can be initiated with certain 'guidelines' made known to the prospective debaters. Perhaps, on certain days, a bigger and special space may be reserved for those who write 'Letters' to editor/newspaper.
4) Again, on certain days the local print media can devote space for views and opinions of public on key issues that particular newspapers may take up as an 'agenda building' initiative.
5) Journalists can prod those in various responsible positions, like politicians, heads of important departments/bodies, national workers, and others, for their position and views on important issues so that the public get to know and interact/respond, if necessary.
•    Firstly, i appreciate this question asked by the media themselves because it is really producing a positive communication or interaction with the public. Previously, regrettably and inevitably sometimes newspapers were bias to certain political party, movement, underground-overground part etc. As on reflecting public opinion i believe its about investigating/reporting on issues that matter and are relevant. So it's partly a journalist's job as much as it is about the public being able to voice out their concerns. We are actually taking some positive steps which i'm glad for. for example, something like the 'Miya' issue we have right now in Nagaland (and NE) say if someone interviews an ordinary Miya that gives perspective instead of Nagas blindly hating all Miyas or a never-before heard Muslim union in Assam answering all our queries. In this way media really balance the 'two sides'. On the issue of 'Responsible media', balancing influences or west-toxicated mentalities like Hollywood celebrity lives etc. coming into our midst i am not really sure how exactly we should go about that one. However, i am concerned how it will affect us eventually....


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