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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mizoram needs an English news website

By - Paritosh Chakma

The one thing which I miss very dearly each day is the absence of English news website from Mizoram to keep myself abreast with the happenings of the state on daily basis.

An online newspaper will enable people of Mizoram have access to daily news of the state even though they may be staying outside the state, for example the students.

In the age of information technology, it is really regrettable, more so given the fact that all other six North Eastern states - Arunachal Pradesh (Arunachal Times, http://www.arunachaltimes.com/), Tripura (http://www.tripurainfo.in/), Meghalaya (The Shillong Times, http://www.theshillongtimes.com/), Nagland (http://www.nagalandpost.com/), and Manipur (http://www.kanglaonline.com/) have online version of their state newspapers, not to speak of Assam which has many of them.

There are at least three English newspapers published from Aizawl – Newslink, The Aizol Times, and the Highlander, and dozens of Mizo dailies, weeklies and even monthlies but they do not have webistes. I know only Vanglaini maintaining a good website http://vanglaini.org/ but I do not understand Mizo so well. Hence, that does not help me.

I must thank to http://zawlbuk.net/ which provides links to “Newslink”. But the links are not regularly updated and sometimes do not cover Newslink daily for a series of days. I must confess that I anxiously keep awaiting such daily updates and I shall be happy if http://zawlbuk.net/ can provide the Newslink news update on daily basis without a miss.

I have been subscribing to the Newslink by post but it takes a long time to reach me. The news get old. But regrettably, even the Newslink fail to cover enough news from rural corners of the state, particularly the social problems.

The Newslink has been the only English daily to have successfully run a website for some time, first in the form of http://www.zoram.com/ and then had its own webpage (I forget the exact link). Another English paper, “Aizol Times” had one http://www.aizoltimes.com/ but the link now shows “this account has been suspended”.

All these news dailies must be facing financial problems to even retain their domain and update them which needs manpower. So, the state government of Mizoram must come forward to help the dailies run their websites successfully and provide sufficient funds for that purpose.

The Young Mizo Association (YMA), the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) and the Mizoram Journalists’ Association (MJA) must extend a demand to the government of Mizoram in this regard.

If Mizoram, which is the second most literate state in India, cannot afford to have a news website, it reflects negatively on the state. Also, it is in the interest of all the people of Mizoram, in particular the intellectuals and students who need to be updated on daily basis about the latest happenings in the state.

10 comments:

benjamin rualthanzauva said...

You missed one. Zonet English news at zonet.in

benjamin rualthanzauva said...

"All these news dailies must be facing financial problems to even"

Not necessarily. Aizol Times may have ceased to exists as it's editor David M Thangliana appears to have returned to Newslink.David was with Newslink prior to Aizol Times.

If you subcribe to Google News Alert with the appropriate keywords, you do get a handful of Mizoram related news (mostly PTI), of course published in national dailies.

Paritosh Chakma said...

@Benjamin,
I thank you for your information about “zonet.in”. I was not aware of it.

But the fundamental problem with these “news sites” is that they are not full-fledged or professional and do not have daily updates. For example, “zonet.in” has not been updated since 13th September at the time of writing this, 11.30 am of 15th September. Moreover, it carried only one English news item on 13th September, hence do not qualify to be called a news website in the real sense of the term.

Necessity is the Mother of invention. The good people of Mizoram have tried to keep pace with the rest of the world by starting several news-cum-social blogs such as http://www.misual.com/ , http://samaw.com/ etc, which are really helpful because we find bits of news of Mizoram.

http://www.sinlung.com/ is still better. I also sometimes see http://www.nenanews.com/ , a fortnightly news magazine from N-E, in my desperate search for news from Mizoram.

Yes, google news search is always helpful.

Still, all these are not enough. Mizoram must have full-fledged news websites in the English language. Newslink, Aizol Times should bring internet version of their respective newspapers. In this endeavor, the state government must help financially. Besides the people of Mizoram, there are many others who will be interested to read a good Mizo English daily online.

“Aizol Times may have ceased to exists as it's editor David M Thangliana appears to have returned to Newslink.”

It is sad if a newspaper should be totally dependent upon a single journalist of the paper. Mizoram must produce many good journalists.

I think this is one crucial area where Mizos are lacking.

benjamin rualthanzauva said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
benjamin rualthanzauva said...

I agree they aren't professional.

"Yes, google news search is always helpful"

Not sure if you are unaware. I meant http://www.google.com/alerts which sends you email alert matching your keyword.

Which is how I came to your blog post.

Maraland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maraland said...

Hi Paritosh,

English newspaper market is too small for Mizos, that's the reason why they are not up there for ENglish readers. I hope it will improve though. Except our Chakma friends and non-Mizos living in Mizoram, all others(educated) in Mizoram can read in Mizo(Lusei), perhaps that's the reason. If the same news are posted in English and Mizo, Mizos will prefer to read Mizo version, it is closer to their feel and taste. Let's hope things change for good in the coming years.

From Siaha/Saiha

Re-posted after correction.

robidhan chakma said...

hav a look here

http://voiceofchakmas.blogspot.com/

matthew said...

good post

Mexpress said...

The latest 99.99% Mizoram News in English is www.mizoramexpress.com It is updated on a weekly basis with some feature stories.