‘Mainstream media not ignoring NE’


GUWAHATI, JUNE 9: The mainstream media in India is not sidelining the Northeast and many news stories, including the lynching of 2 youths in Karbi Anglong, the recent assassination of a politician in Arunachal Pradesh and the NRC in Assam are making international headlines.
This was stated by Ruben Banerjee, Editor-in-Chief of Outlook who was the keynote speaker during a 2-day National Seminar on the theme “Media Representation of North East India: Looking Back and Looking Forward” held on Friday and Saturday at Don Bosco Institute, Guwahati.
The seminar was organised by the Department of Mass Communication, Rajiv Gandhi University, Arunachal Pradesh and the Department of Mass Communication of Saint Claret College, Ziro, stated a press release issued here.
Banerjee said youths from the Northeast were doing marvelous in the media industry. The intention and motives of the national media cannot be questioned because everyone was doing their best, he added. He said that as a young journalist, he covered the Northeast and Bangladesh as well during the peak of the ULFA movement. He had to travel to Guwahati every 7 days when flights to the region were not very much available. It is easy for people to say that media was not doing enough, but everyone needs to look at the other side of the story.
Rajiv Gandhi University Vice Chancellor Prof Saket Kushwaha, recalling the trouble faced by the media in Africa during his 14 years’ stay in the continent, said it was easy for people to judge but the media has to strike a balance and that there were certain forces pulling down the system.
Prof Dr Inderjeet Singh Sodhi from RGNIYD, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, said that it was good to see the media involved in social development. The seminar was sponsored by Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD), Sriperumbudur and Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR), Arunachal Pradesh.
A total of 54 research scholars presented papers on themes like “North East India in Cinema”, “Culture and Ethnicity of North East India”, “Media, Activism and popular social movements in India’s North East”, etc.
On Saturday, Prof SK Behera, from the Department of Mass Communication, Tezpur University, delivered a lecture on “Identity Assertion and Cultural Integration: North East Festivals as windows to India and the World”. He talked about the popularity of festivals of the Northeast, like Ziro Festival of Music, Lossar, Cheiraoba, which are getting worldwide attention.
Saint Claret College Principal Father Allywn Mendoz said the information given in the media about the Northeast was biased, and therefore people from other states have a different attitude towards this part of the country. He said that the Northeast was wrongly branded in the past. (Courtesy: AT)