Editors Guild Manipur (EGM), All Manipur Working Journalist Union (AMWJU), and Manipur Hill Journalists Union (MHJU) have issued an appeal to journalists reporting on the ongoing law and order situation in Manipur to provide balanced coverage of the situation. The organizations have received feedback from citizens regarding unbalanced reporting by the media, particularly by national and international media outlets that have sent representatives to Manipur or sourced information from the state.
While the organizations have no means of verifying every complaint, they believe that as responsible media organizations, it is their duty to appeal to their fellow media practitioners from mainland India and abroad to provide balanced reporting. They have also urged journalists to play the role of peacemakers instead of troublemakers and to keep in mind the role of certain media in the past that sparked unwanted genocides.
The conflict in Manipur is complex, and reducing it to simple labels like "Hindu vs Christian," "Tribal vs Non-Tribal," or "Meitei vs Non-Meitei" would only bring irreparable damage to the age-old relationships between the people of the valley and those from the surrounding hills. The organizations acknowledge that there are forces within both parties in conflict that are trying to create a fracture between the two communities for personal vendettas, political mileage, and other factors such as drug trade and turf control.
The media organizations believe that it is the duty of journalists to expose these people and stop them from exploiting public sentiment for their narrow interests. They have appealed to all journalists, including those from the local media, to be peacemakers rather than troublemakers and to report the facts accurately and impartially.
In their joint statement, the organizations have also offered their assistance to journalists in achieving this goal. They believe that by working together, the media can play a crucial role in bringing peace and stability to Manipur.
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