Last Updated on September 12, 2023 by SPN Editor
Imphal/September 12, 2023 (SPN) | The Manipur Government has issued a notification specifying that individuals who are truly associated with the field of journalism may use or wear PRESS jackets, vests, or stickers on vehicles.
These jackets, vests, or stickers bearing the “PRESS” inscription are exclusively designated for use by bona fide media personnel, including journalists and video journalists who possess valid identity cards or accreditation certificates issued by authorized bodies such as the Directorate of Information & Public Relations (DIPR), Press Bureau of India, All India Radio, Doordarshan (DD News), and recognized national and international media organizations.
Furthermore, only legitimate media personnel will be granted access to areas affected by violence for the purpose of reporting.
The notification serves as a warning that any individual found in violation of these instructions will face penalties or legal prosecution under the applicable laws.
It’s worth noting that both the AMWJU (All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union) and EGM (Editors Guild Manipur) had previously advocated for the authorized use of PRESS jackets, emphasizing the importance of distinguishing genuine media practitioners.
The All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU) and the Editors’ Guild Manipur (EGM) have expressed their shared concern regarding the widespread misuse of PRESS vests and stickers by individuals who are not journalists. This misuse has led to confusion and challenges for legitimate journalists in the state.
In a joint statement, AMWJU and EGM highlighted the significant challenges faced by journalists in Manipur amidst the ongoing conflict. They noted that numerous unregistered individuals have started presenting themselves as media practitioners.
This situation has not only created confusion among the public but has also disrupted the work of registered journalists who are working diligently on the ground.
The statement pointed out that many of these unregistered individuals, including YouTubers, bloggers, and vloggers, are reporting on the current crisis without adhering to established journalism ethics.
While AMWJU and EGM do not possess the authority to prevent them from reporting on the incident site, they firmly object to these individuals using PRESS vests and stickers.
Additionally, there have been reports of some individuals affixing press stickers to their vehicles, further contributing to public confusion.