By Bhupen Goswami
Guwahati : In opposition to government’s negative attitude towards regional newspapers, the North East Newspaper Association has decided not to publish all Assam government’s news as well as photographs for three-day. Any news or photographs and government advertisements will not be published in any of the regional newspapers of Assam on March 10, March 11 and March 12 in protest against Assam government’s lack interest towards the problems faced by newspaper houses in Assam, informed the association.
The newspaper houses are reportedly facing major financial crisis due to non-clearance of the payments against the advertisements of the government of Assam. The association also informed that the advertisement rates for the newspapers of the State have not been revised since 2014. Meanwhile Press and Information is the most powerful tool in the domain of public awareness. Since the press plays a significant role in framing the opinions and perspectives of masses, it is usually at the wheel of all affairs. The DIPR (Directorate of Information and Public Relations) of each state plays a pivotal role. But in Assam, government and DIPR department have been maintaining negative attitude towards the regional media houses. Despite of government’s assurance, DIPR Assam yet to pay the advertisements fees to regional media houses.
As per reports, regional media houses yet to receive amount of Rs 30 crore for government advertisements. On the other hand, some media houses boomed with prosperity, others who maintained close association with politicians managed to thrive well while independent media houses were left to fend for themselves. There have been vast amount of differences on advertisement rates of regional and National print media. Comparatively, state media houses are getting lower amount to publish advertisements than national media. The Sonowal Government came to power with the help of regional Media houses in the state; but now the government has taken a different attitude towards regional media houses. Sources have informed that some media houses in Northeast India, especially in Assam were denied assistance due to them not being close to the government.