From Marginalisation to Stereotypes — ‘North East India’ in Indian Media: Evidences from Focus Group Discussions in Manipur

By Shipra Raj

Previous media studies have noted that India’s North East often remains absent from the mainstream media. As news media plays a formidable role in minorities recognition and representation and it is important to ask how media represents the North East.1 Building from the role of media in democracy this paper analyses how media reports the North East. The traditional journalistic ethics of fair, balanced and truthful does not mean that everybody gets equal representation. Three Focus Group Discussions were held in Manipur which involved 30 participants through purposive and snowball sampling technique. This paper analyses how and when the North East gets space in mainstream media. Participants noted that the coverage of Manipur in the mainstream media has widely been negative and their issues and interests are underrepresented. Majority of the participants noted that the coverage of mainstream media has often been incorrect and subject to stereotypes and has largely been focused on insurgency and conflict.

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