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A Commendable book on Media Issues of the North East

Dr. Dayananda Pathak

The history of journalism is quite exciting. Journalism as we understand it today took a definite shape during the colonial time. It is on the wings of journalism, especially the print media; Indian freedom struggle could be meaningfully carried forward. The colonial masters too had their own acolytes who provided the boost to the regime through the pages in Indian media. The Times of India, The Statesman and other pro-establishment newspapers promoted the interests of the colonial masters. On the contrary, the paper like The Hindu provided the moral boost to the crusaders of the freedom movement. Mahatma Gandhi published his own newspaper named Young India, while Pundit Nehru published The National Herald. Such newspapers reflected the aspirations of the people of India. In the post independence era Indian journalism has had a new lease of life. A wide range of burning issues faced by the nascent democracy found expression in the pages of the dailies and the weeklies. Today the entire scenario is changed. Today print media is face to face with electronic media. In fact, the present age across the globe must be called an e-age that has penetrated every spectrum of modern life.

Assam and the north east are also not lagging behind. In certain respects the north east is seen to be ahead of many other states of the country. Assam, for instance, is having a large number of language dailies and weeklies. This has also created a queer situation of meaningful survival for the individual newspapers. Add to this the overall situation created by the convergent media, a new avatar in our media industry. The print media is facing a tough time with the convergent media. In Assam the print media and the electronic media are largely in the grip of the politicians and business tycoons. This has also generated a new set of problems for all concerned. Now, pure and independent media ethics is at jeopardy.

The book, ably edited by Zakirul Alam, a young talent, is a collection of twenty-five write-ups and one radio documentary. Every write-up reflects a specific issue that concerns the north east. The book presents two sets of write-ups. Nineteen write-ups include topics like radio broadcasting, print media, folk-media, new media, media ethics, media and literacy, role of media in poverty eradication, education, library management and so forth. Then we have write-ups like newspapers of Tripura and Media in Meghalaya. The second section comprises six write-ups, one each on wildlife preservation, hazards of journalism in strife-torn areas, citizen journalism, photo journalism, insurgency, and rural journalism.

The book is a sincere attempt to delve deep into the media scenario of the north east, presently simmering under different tribal-nontribal, intra-tribal, communal, and diverse linguistic and ethnic issues. The whole of the north east is pestered by a wide range of communal and insurgency issues. This backdrop is considerably reflected by the book in the right media perspective. The book is sure to cater to the needs of the students and teachers of mass communication and journalism. The editor of the book must receive our accolades.

Journalism & Media Industry of North East India
Compiled and edited by Zakirul Alam
Published by Eastern Book House, Guwahati
On behalf of
Media Management & Research Association
Price-Rs 1125/-

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