SILCHAR: Barak Valley based small and medium newspapers have been craving for equal treatment like their counterparts of Brahmaputra Valley in respect of state patronage and the regular issue of advertisements for their continuation and survival. Cataloguing their grievances in a representation to the Director of Information and Public Relations, Anupam Chowdhury, at Guwahati recently, a group of editors and journalists who met him urged upon him to take up their problems with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal for their proper redressal.
The Chief Minister, they pointed out, always lays stress on elimination of the sense of discrimination and deprivation between the two valleys. Media fraternity here welcomes this magnanimous gesture. They did submit memorandum to the Chief Minister at Guwahati and also here, drawing his attention to their issues. In the absence of regular issue of advertisements, the small newspapers have been pushed to grave crisis. Media fraternity in Brahmaputra Valley is also facing similar problem.
But, the problem in this valley is acute due to narrow marketing radius and paucity of private advertisement as there is no industry at all. Continuation of small newspapers from a town or semi urban areas has become a tough exercise. Financial constraints for editors and journalists of such newspapers have been telling heavily on their enthusiasm to carry on their noble mission. In fact, they have now reached the thin end of the wedge.
There is no denying the fact that a concerted move by the media of both the valleys will be able to mount the desired pressure on the government to take measures to bail out the small and medium newspapers. Barak Valley media in general will be very much appreciative if the DIPRO comes here to have face to face interactions with the aggrieved journalists. Barak Valley Small and Medium Newspapers’ Association takes the liberty to put before him a slew of demands for consideration.
Small and medium newspapers should be issued at least 1000 sq cm advertisements per issue. Minimum rate of Rs 50 per sq cm be fixed. The state government should consider the applications of senior journalists for pension. This year only one journalist has been selected which is not justified. Sympathetic consideration is also sought for medical benefits to Barak media persons. Some newspapers are being published regularly from here, but they are yet to get necessary approval from the state. The memorandum is signed by Sanat Kumar Koiri, president, and Debal Adhikari, Secretary, Barak Valley Small and Medium Newspapers.