Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Thirty Two and continuing

Nagaland Post reaches another milestone on December 3,2022 on completion of 32 years and not just as the first news daily of the state, but as a pioneering venture to live a dream through the difficult terrains of political and social problems so as to lay the foundation for the progress and development of the print media in the subsequent decades. On the 33rd anniversary, it would be pertinent to remind that in everything there is a history and in this case, it is about how the newspaper was sustained by those who had worked tirelessly and fearlessly because they became part of Nagaland Post to achieve a vision-driven venture and to act as a catalyst of change. They had no experience but believed in what they were doing and in the process, gave their best to overcome the goliaths of challenges through a strong resolve to serve people –in giving them not only a space but also to continually provide objective and clear analytical views and opinions so as to help created an informed readership. Bringing out a newsdaily with obsolete letter press technology of the 19th century was unthinkable in the 21st century era but then but Nagaland Post proves the unthinkable is not an option. To begin with starting a newspaper without funds and experienced manpower is foolhardy. This is the story of this newspaper. The internal challenges were as daunting as the hurdles created by certain elements within the power establishment and a polarized segment within society. Every journey has a purpose and a story behind. Some would say a vision inspires the journey but for Nagaland Post, into the vision was added a sense of mission-to mainstream the mental and spiritual faculty for the generations. Some of the notable reports out of many others that Nagaland Post had carried with factual and fair reportages included the infamous black Christmas of December 26,1994 in Mokokchung and the March 5,1995 indiscriminate firing in Kohima, against the wide reportages in regional and national newspapers. During the turbulent nineties Nagaland Post stood steadfast in reporting on many incidents without bias. In a society where patronisation was understood as a pre-requisite, the newspaper steered clear of playing the role of a powerbroker in a highly polarised political environment. Other achievements are mere statistics but nevertheless notable is that, Nagaland Post is the first to be printed in colour in Nagaland and also the first to have multi paged color in the north east among regional newspapers. Nagaland Post is also among English newspapers having very high circulations in the north east. What is satisfying is that many young people today in their 40s and 50s and many of who are well placed, remember how Nagaland Post enriched and impacted their lives since their schooldays. In the hurly burly of current scenario, the media has to learn to keep its head above them to see the broader perspective otherwise it could spell tragedy for society. Journalism seeks or claims to pursue truth. This comes with a price which some are not willing to pay. The challenge before the media remains- and unless it takes the bull by the horns, the objectivity and growth of the fourth estate would be severely deformed as the minds that seek to manipulate and coerce freedom of speech.

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