Imphal: The media houses in Manipur have announced to boycott coverage related to the state government and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the non-payment of advertisement bills with effect from April 24 till the pending bills are paid.
The decision was taken after a joint meeting of newspaper publishers, editors, and representatives of Manipur Hill Journalist Union (MHJU) and All Manipur Working Journalists' Union (AMWJU), which are supporting the movement, in Imphal on Saturday.
On April 15, publishers, members of Editors Guild Manipur (EGM), MHJU, and AMWJU made an appeal to the Manipur government and the state units of the BJP and the Congress to clear all the pending advertisement bills by 4 PM on April 23.
"However, since there was no response from the government and the BJP, the meeting decided to go ahead with the boycott," said a joint statement of the EGM, AMWJU, and MHJU on Saturday.
"In the case of the Congress, the meeting resolved to give some time following assurance given by its president," it added.
However, under the boycott, all news related to the Manipur government, the ruling BJP, and NPF will not be covered. It will also include all government advertisements, including those of its authorities, corporations like the PDA, LDA among others, said a joint statement issued by the Editor's Guild, AMWJU, and MHJU.
The statement further said that the media boycott will not include the offices of the Governor, the speaker, COVID-19, and pandemic-related news including medical emergencies, and crime-related stories.
''The boycott will remain effective till the pending bills are paid or an understanding is reached with the parties concerned,'' the statement added.
Notably, media houses in Manipur are under severe financial constraints following the coronavirus pandemic and the rising cost of news production.
''As such, it has been appealing to the government to take a sympathetic view of the situation to avoid the confrontation,'' it said.