Monday, 17 December 2012

What are the ‘Elements of Journalism’?

Summary of the Elements of Journalism

Introduction

The ‘Elements of Journalism’ is a set of professional and ethical standards journalists are expected to fulfill in the course of dispensing news and information to the public. Equally, the set of ‘elements’ seeks to explain the larger positive goals of journalism. In other words, the intrinsic values of the very purpose and standard of journalism are summed up as the Elements of Journalism.

The ‘elements’ were first proposed by US journalists Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel in their popular book Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and What to Expect. Published in 2006, the book is now considered the topmost authority for reference and resource for every journalist – and those aspiring to be one.

The Elements of Journalism

The Elements of Journalism lists a number of imperatives that represent the very spirit of Journalism, its purpose and goal.

According to the book, there are nine elements of Journalism:

1.      Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth.
2.      Journalism’s first loyalty is to citizens.
3.      Journalism’s essence is a discipline of verification.
4.      Practitioners of journalism must maintain an independence from those they cover.
5.      Journalism must serve as an independent monitor of power.
6.      Journalism must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise.
7.      Journalism must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant.
8.      Journalism must keep the news comprehensive and proportional.
9.      Practitioners of journalism must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience.

Summary

The ‘Elements of Journalism’ are not necessarily exceptions nor are they rules unto themselves. They are more of a rationalization of ethical paradigms, which completely represent the central tenets of purpose rather than intent, for journalists. They are pragmatic standards for newsmen as much as they are principles that embody the aspiration of peoples for a freer, more democratic, productive and progressive society.

©2012 Al Ngullie ALL RIGHTS RESERVED This article contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Funny Newspaper Articles: Stories that escaped the Editor

There are some irreversibly funny gaffes we the newspaper people continue to commit in the course of our journalistic endeavors. Blame it on stress, long hours or even bad office food. But truth sometimes comes in packages of appallingly ugly articles – even if mistyped or worst, misspelled. How stories are definitely manipulable! 

The ignominies listed here are some of the classic technical crimes – mostly mistyped or Spoonerisms – that escaped the prying eyes of The Morung Express Editor to land up in your morning tea, since 2005.

You see, dear reader, over the years I’d been collecting “specimens” of ‘transgressions’ that found place in the print. Our sins – journalists’ – are many and the irrevocability of the printed letter compounds our failings!

Examine these few time-tested sins committed by my fellow Morung journalists and Yours Truly as well. They all are from my “private collections,” all from The Morung Express (if we would, you can plain imagine what the state of the other dailies, perhaps).

The ‘things’ in the following are mostly unintentional spoonerisms owing to erroneous rephrasing by reporters during filing reports or simply straight quotes right from the mouths of the sources themselves – only to be murdered by typing.

Some of you may have come across a few of these horrors when you picked up the newspaper. Enjoy:

  • ‘The Naga Hoho has appealed to the pubic to put more effort…’
  • ‘…and said you are the kind of pubic the Nagas need at this crucial juncture’
  • ‘Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio today asserted that the Cock upholds the identity of the Nagas…’
  • “Minister TR Zeliang appreciated the quality of the beauty contest and said this time, it has taken a parading shit…”
  • Thief Minister Neiphiu Rio today said the DoNER Ministry …’
  • ‘The valedictory function was graced by the Horrible Minister of Industry & Commerce Khekhio Zhimomi…’
  • ‘The horri’ble MLA alleged that his counterpart was denying the area development funds since…’
  • ‘When the Thief Guest arrived, the traditional screaming welcomed him…”
  • “Nagaland’s MRP to the Rajya Sabha Wangyuh Konyak …’
  • ‘General Secretary of the North East Students’ Organization NSCN Lotha…’  (Former NSF president NSN Lotha’s name regularly fall victim to Spoonerism and mistyping thanks to his initials’ visual affinity to the nomenclature of the NSCN. And especially for us the Press, when we get hundreds of statements from the NSCNs every second day, somehow our minds are always naturally browbeaten by habit!)

(This article was originally published in The Morung Express, September 7. 2011)

©2012 Al Ngullie ALL RIGHTS RESERVED This article contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher.

Strange Newspapers; Stranger Media language

In an age full of news of violence, bloodshed and corruption and general human senselessness, today’s newspapers are a rich source of laughter

The task of print journalists, as they are, is a terrible taskmaster. Hide bad language skills underneath your tongue and your fingertips would promptly have your secret handicap screamed to thousand readers out of their morning tea chairs.

Worst, the clearer your printing machine’s resolution, the more unforgivable and bigger your mistakes seem.

No scholastic ‘transgression’ was greater than those committed in the print, thanks to the enduring quality of the printed word: A misprinted word that sticks an entire meaning on its head; misspellings that terrorize even the most indiscreet of readers; the contextually isolated detail that totally nullifies an entire story to naught. Or even the all-too-clichéd story in the name of human interest one bumps into (Read so-and-so undertakes “social work”).

A complex combination of those disasters can only mean readers have more stressful jobs reading than journalists do from writing. Naturally, when the horrors of newspaper language hits home, the conscious reader is conveniently assigned by newspapers the horrendous and involuntary burden of exercising his intellectual eyebrows with the timeless question: “what the heck was that again?”

Suddenly, the reader is left to do all the cleaning-up in the course of his intellectual quest. So – basically – the sleepy reader who lumbers out of his bed finds a terrible task awaiting him at the dining table other than the ‘normal’ bad news of blood and gore.

Caught in the never-ending swirls of everyday tragedies, Newspapers fail in keeping reminded of the one formidable pitfall so characteristic of this depressing job called Journalism. The ‘pitfall’ the Media has yet to recognize is the critical suspicion of the fussy reader attempting to digest an awfully tasteless, almost-bucolic writing style of reporters. Or an infuriatingly silly “fact” in a story passed off as “significant development” to perhaps score brownie points for the circulation mafia.

Any thing is OK or not?

Hungry detractors enjoy bad lingual menus just so to reassure themselves that even journalists come from wombs and not from Wordsworth’s pantheon.

In an age where lurid details of crime, corruption and deaths are the only news, today’s print journalism, ironically, serve readers with profuse amusement not even Santa and Banta can surpass.

So what might be the cause for errors and misprints, miscalculated news bytes or just plain intellectual idiocy that feed the morning reader with more than bad news? Bad salary, a disgruntled journalist might say. The high-stress nature of the profession, another may opine. Still, a third might as well assemble all the stress-points to explain the terror journalism brings to the peaceful lives of tea-sipping citizens.

But I believe fellow-journalists would agree on one thing: the blame is on the colorful array of individuals each of who edit press releases, each in their own exclusive styles.

You see, dear reader, Nagaland’s print media is invariably unlike other media organizations across the world (including India). Say, even in Guwahati media offices have specialized, task-specific and singular experts to work on each dimension of publishing. For instance, reporters field only stories; copywriters only rewrite stories; editors only edit and check, and proofreaders only proof-read and nothing else.

But for journalists in Nagaland, you could be chasing a story, the next minute you are copywriting piles of all nonsensical press releases from local organizations whose ambition is only to see their names in the print; the next hour you are editing the pages – or fetching paan for your editor.

All-in-one, period. So how do you reconcile and streamline a variety of individual language styles of 10 journalists into an identifiable, uncomplicated, identifiable format? Now you know the reason why Nagaland newspapers have stories (oh horror, even editorials!) that look like they were written by class-V students and still others that appear to be the work of Literature Analysts.

You read this article or not still now?

The anomalies nonetheless do give its failings a chance to scream out. Scream out to simply force fresh minds out of their morning teatimes. That is where the Grammar-stricken student would have to have blamed the ‘local’ media already.

Earlier, I was told about a comment left by a reader of The Morung Express on the Daily’s website edition. This particular reader had been relentlessly disparaging the language format and editing of The Morung Express, for a long time now. One thing that struck me was a suggestion made by this particular reader he had even advised us to “read” newspapers such as “The Times of India” and so on.

I understand one thing that the vehemently critical reader missed – that classics such as Jyoti Sanyal’s satiric book on Indian journalistic writings ‘Indlish,’ were inspired by the fuzzy, bucolic writing styles of newspapers such as The Times of India. You know the English of Press Trust of India (PTI) or TOI is (in)famous for – in fact they share similarity with the language of most reporters in Nagaland!

It is clear enough that the confusion of readers, generally, is not any gentler than that of the poor bag-eyed people who fill the morning’s pages. 

This is an age where print journalism – and its digital cousins, the web informatics and webnews – have come to adhere religiously to exclusive writing formats and styles.

And Nagaland’s (or India’s) media is a tragedy.

In an age of designer-hullabaloo India creates everyday, perhaps one has yet to find time for universal writing style applications: the Chicago Manual, AP Stylebook, Cambridge Handbook for editors, Oxford Style Manual, MLA Handbook, the Chicago Manual of Style and the APA style manual, the New York Print Handbook, the Associated Press Format, the Reuters’ or the BBC Handbook format.

From the Wall Street Journal to, say, the Hindustan Times, print media across the globe write in own (and strictly adhered-to) language styles. It would be a step ahead if newspapers in Nagaland do actually devise their own “language” formats as well.

(In the next article) I shall be introducing you to some of the weirdest, nuttiest and most intimidating of “English,” typos, grammatical errors and ‘misprints’ that ever escaped the eyes of our editors to land on your tea table.  

(This article was originally published in The Morung Express May 7, 2011)


©2012 Al Ngullie ALL RIGHTS RESERVED This article contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Elements of Journalism: Summary

In Summary, the ‘Elements of Journalism’ is a set of professional and ethical standards journalists are expected to fulfill in the course of dispensing news and information to the public. Equally, the set of ‘elements’ seeks to explain the larger positive goals of journalism. In other words, the intrinsic values of the very purpose and standard of journalism are summed up as the Elements of Journalism.

The ‘elements’ were first proposed by US journalists Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel in their popular book Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and What to Expect. Published in 2006, the book is now considered the topmost authority for reference and resource for every journalist – and those aspiring to be one.

The Elements of Journalism Summarized

The Elements of Journalism lists a number of imperatives that represent the very spirit of Journalism, its purpose and goal. In nine lines, Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel summarizes the principles of responsible Journalism.
 
According to the book, there are nine elements of Journalism:

1.      Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth.
2.      Journalism’s first loyalty is to citizens.
3.      Journalism’s essence is a discipline of verification.
4.      Practitioners of journalism must maintain an independence from those they cover.
5.      Journalism must serve as an independent monitor of power.
6.      Journalism must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise.
7.      Journalism must strive to make interesting and relevant that which is significant.
8.      Journalism must keep the news comprehensive and proportional.
9.      Practitioners of journalism must/be allowed to exercise their personal conscience.
(Note: I have paraphrased some of the elements for clarity)

Summary

The ‘Elements of Journalism’ are not necessarily exceptions nor are they rules unto themselves. They are more of a rationalization of ethical paradigms, which completely represent the central tenets of purpose rather than intent, for journalists. They are pragmatic standards for newsmen as much as they are principles that embody the aspiration of peoples for a freer, more democratic, productive and progressive society.

©2012 Al Ngullie ALL RIGHTS RESERVED This article contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher.

Monday, 30 July 2012

What do Journalists do? All in a day’s work

What do journalists do?  In my previous article ‘What do Journalists do? An Introduction to their Job, we ran through the various contexts of production and workload that influence the work profiles of media personnel. I shall assume that you have already formed a basic idea about what they do daily.

Now – broadly speaking, sorry, broadly blogging – ‘journalist’ is a loose term to describe a professional who works in an organization that provides news information to the public. Meaning, you have different and various types of journalists:
  • Reporting Journalists (or news reporters)
  • Production Journalists

Now you get the idea: The type a journalist is, also means that his work profile would be different from another type in terms of workload, nature of profile, and assignment.

To make easier the job of understanding what a Journalist actually does daily, let us examine the work profiles of some of the main information-disseminating personnel in news organizations. The job is far less glamorous I tell you.  

What do Reporting Journalists / News Reporters do?

Primarily, the role of a reporting journalist is to collect and disseminate information about current events, people, trends, and issues – and/or anything of current interest, or people would be interested in reading about.

Put simply (and I have no doubt you already know this one) a reporter researches and presents information in certain formats of mass media – print (newspapers), broadcast (television and radio) or online (new through the Internet). So his job, basically, includes:

  • Gathering facts (Interviewing people, confirming the occurrence of a reported event, visit place of event, confirm statements or witnesses’ accounts etc. The idea is to gather materials to make it into a "story", i.e., a news report)

  • 'Record' the gathered information in a written form (compose and write down report; list event and statements associated with the event into a narrative form)
  • Submit story to editor
  • Story is published (after the editor has approved it. The editing process involves crosschecking for factual errors, grammatical errors, contextual inconsistencies etc) 
The job also naturally means a reporter with a good nose is an indispensable asset; to smell a story out of nothing. A candidate needs to be innovative, creative, active and enterprising and yes, courageous.

Being a very-high-stress career itself, journalism is not for every bright-eyed lad that walks into a newspaper or a television news channel with a CV. Few stick long enough to actually earn respect as a journalist.

Basic job description of Production Journalists  

Production Journalists are the ones that turn your ugly toads into Page-3 princesses. They are the
  • Editor-in-chief / Managing Editor 
  • Sub-Editors (Asia) or copy editors (UK, US)
  • Proofreaders
  • Designers
  • Photo editors,
  • Best Practice managers,
  • Video editors,
  • Graphics / layout designers,
  • Webmasters

and all such personnel specializing in certain areas of technical production.

What do they do? In the modern Media corporate, production journalists are some of the highest-paid skill-and-resource workforce. 

They are the managers, the tweakers and the management chiefs. The ones that make sure that the facts in your story are accurate, comprehensible and systematic. They are the section that edits your stories and make sure your English sounds civilized enough. They are the creative eyes that make your 2-pixel photographs look like Ciril Jazbec’s magnum opus.

They are the ones that directly oversee day-to-day operations of the newsroom. They make sure the photographs personify the story perfectly; that the unnecessary are banished to the dustbin; that the stories fulfill the demands of accuracy and comprehension; that the uncertain shades are blacked or whitened. The production guys are the nerds, the tweakers, the horned-rimmed glasses, the hamburger cool millennialS.

Of all, editorial personnel function as the second pair of eyes that look for something not visible in a story.

They are professionals with specialized skills and expertise in various areas of media production such as:
  • Language and editing,
  • Designing,
  • Analysis
  • Experts in multimedia / technological applications etc

Generally, there are no hard stipulations on working hours for production journalists. Their working hours are counted from whence they began work, as their skills are applied only as a production effort, for instance, after reports have been filed by reporters.

©2012 Al Ngullie ALL RIGHTS RESERVED This article contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher.

What do Journalists Do? An Introduction to their Job

What are the tasks of a journalist? No, it does not necessarily include the more enjoyable job of grabbing free soda packs laid out for the Press. A major backache with journalism jobs is this: What they do is varied and (one too) many. Is the workload cut out for a New York Times reporter in NYC bigger than that of a Sidney Daily News suburb chaser? Silly question.   

Wait a minute. What kind of “journalist” are we talking about in the first place – the news-reporting journalist, the camera-shooting journalist, the copy-editing journalist or the layout-designing journalist? So there we are. But that doesn't still explain what they do or what their workload, presumably, may be, right? Keep reading.

To keep things simple, let’s simply generalize the job of “journalists” (any ‘journalist’ – anyone who works in the news or news production team of a news organization (Print, broadcast or digital). We would literally be asking for a duty-index than a work profile if you want to talk about what the Press people do to keep their refrigerators filled with food.

Before we discuss what journalists do, let me explain the basis behind the range of the assignments they are tasked with. There are variables to what journalists do. Work profiles and the tasks their “beat”* fits in. The ‘variables’ generally ride on a number of factors.

(In journalism, a ’beat’ is the sphere of work a journalist specializes in. For instance, if you specialize in reporting mainly on political and government-related happenings, then your ‘beat’ is  ‘political news beat’ or ‘policy beat.’) 

Image from myportfolio.school.nz
All in a reporter's day's work? Read here 


Here are some of the ‘factors’ that decide the daily tasks journalists have to tackle:

Organizational factors:

Simple illustration: A newspaper with fewer reporters definitely means they have to cover a bigger chunk of workload than a news organization that employs comparatively-more reporters.

Oh did I mention something called ‘competition’? Yes, competition (It’s a uniquely dirty word for a ‘profession’ that has all the ambitions of purity and goodness of humanity in it). Anyhow, competition between media organizations can also decide the extent of a news employee’s job. 

For example, the heavier the competition, the greater the emphasis and pressure on reporters to find “breaking news” or “exclusive” events and news; multiple events mean more work. That is where the dynamics of an organization and its reach, influences nature and scope of a journalist’s daily work.

‘Special’ circumstances:

Another simple illustration: A New York Times reporter writing about fashion in a NY suburb has a somewhat lazier (and less stressful) day than a reporter working in the explosive corner markets of Kabul. For journalists who report from and in conflict situations, the job is not so much about how many assignments he can complete but how he can actually complete the one he has at hand!

Yet again, comparatively, a sports reporter assigned with the Olympics has ‘more work to handle’ than one that has been assigned with writing a report about a bomb explosion in a downtown market in India. Here again, the dynamics behind what journalists do, changes, influenced by circumstances. 

Vocational profiles:

Do you like New York City? Come let’s check out the newsrooms of NYC. In the great apple, the job profile of a reporter is to fish out a fishy story, write and submit his news reports to his Editor. After that ritual, the reporter happily goes home to play with his kids (or his girlfriend. Cough. Cough).

But in India, you could be given additional assignments to write say 2 stories or more stories till you complete the 8-hours-a-day work stint (thankfully not every newspaper in India commits that atrocity).

Likewise, a copy editor in Brisbane has only to copy edit press releases of stories submitted by reporters. In India, a copy editor (interchangeably called ‘Sub-editor’) goes for stories too, do you know that? He looks for stories, meets with people, does interviews, and / or writes about it. Then as part of news production, he copy-edits his story (and his reporters’ news stories in tandem). What next? Well, he does all that before designing the newspaper page layout and uploading his and the stories his reporters’ filed, himself!

Now the entire subject is not so confusing, or did I just hear a whimper.

So there you are. I hope my explanation about what journalists do have given you an idea about their job and what it demands. Generally, as I have already stated, the work of a journalist varies context-to-context, one location to the next, and from one circumstance to another.

Now that you have an idea about the work of journalists here is their various types (reporters and production personnel), their job profiles and basic tasks. Read Here

©2012 Al Ngullie ALL RIGHTS RESERVED This article contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Drunken Hic-lish, sorry, English, society's leaders utter

A look at the abnormal, strange, ridiculous, non-existent English gibberish society's leaders utter to the Media - newspapers, to be specific. 

With due apology to all "Naga identity" purists out there, here’s the truth: you cannot make do without English. You can pompously declare to high heavens the singularity and uniqueness of your culture, but the world still won't give you a flying tihs. 


I recall a family friend offering me this precious, highly-sensible advice: ‘Your Mother Tongue is most important – only within your bamboo kitchen. Once outside, they don’t care which tribe you belong to. Better get your British right.’

Then there is the pressure of  pursuing independent, unbiased news. That is where the writing  style of each reporter, and journalists in general, comes into play. A small instance: In a tremendously Media-sensitive country like India, a typo or an innocuous "synonymic" oversight in a newspaper item has all the power to trigger political parties and their goons into rampaging through streets toppling every innocent auto-rickshaw in their 'career' path. Did I just write "innocent auto-rickshaw"?

No wonder that the Media in Nagaland has yet to not feel guilt every time it declares "Our Nagaland's Press fraternity is second to none!"   
Nagaland's government leaders lead the quirky English pack
(Note for the more academic-inclined visitors reading this article: The terminologies (in asterisks) are entirely self-styled / do not exist in established English dictionaries)
So, in effect, you are using the story's title to explain the entire article. What do you get? Well, something in the nature of 'I am sick for leave holiday.’
Don't ask me, I have no idea at all why they condemn the Media/Press people all the time in the 'subject' section when it should just name the nature of the statement, though)
Propaganda itself means ‘false.’ In other words both the terms 'False' and 'Propaganda' denote one and the same meaning. It’s like saying ‘Bread Loaf’. ‘Propaganda’ itself means 'false', 'lie' or 'untruth'.
We are also upbringing in English school, English college and English Nagaland University from very young children time but due to our Naganess, poorness in English mother tongue is very ok. 
Naga tribal organizations students and government is very, very poorness of language of English. It is very shameful issue which Nagas must think clearly to wash away our language backwardness.


Being a professional in a third-world Media institution means you have a career that had everything to do with the big bad world of oral, audio, aural and visual pitfalls. They are only a small part of the harder pressures: You are always exposed to the extremities that the demands of corporate marketing gimmicks pose to your sense of information.

Another: Very few leaders in Nagaland have actually dispatched us decent and elucidated statements, you see. Thankfully, Nagas are equals when it comes to stupidity (or sheer apathy, I should say) - you wouldn't raise a finger if your politician was stealing your salary right under your apathetic nose. The state of the Media in Nagaland is one that of a sad puddle of mud. 


So, logically, if the Media's state-of-affairs could be in the muck, do you honestly think we would give a flying ink about quality journalistic writing, style sheets or formats?


Some of the better "Journalistic writers"


To name a few, (former) Governor of Goa SC Jamir, (former) Chief Secretary of Nagaland Lalhuma, (former) Tourism Commissioner & Secretary KK Sema, (former) Deputy Commissioner of Mokokchung Abhishek Singh and bare few leaders of Naga students’ groups are some of the better ones, if not the best, when it comes to clear - almost studied - written English. 

The rest – decidedly inclusive of even major tribal organizations, students’ organizations and yes, Naga ministers / MLAs, not forgetting the Naga underground groups – are all nothing short of gibber authors at their British. And I shan't dare name a respected Editor here too, though!

Face it: Naga society leaders' English should definitely embarass their children (native dialect is king of bamboo kitchens only). If we don’t get it right, we’d better invent an alternative with which global village can communicate with us, in lieu of English, French, German and Latino, of course. 

In the following are some classic examples of how many people more-than-often twist English phrases to fill their English potholes. The instances were collected over time from an array of press releases / statements we received in The Morung Express.
Some are from other newspapers that caught my eye. Even more shocking: They actually went to print (newspaper Editors in Nagaland are, well, judge them yourself!).  The points are also from what I like to call "Private Naga newspaper funny collection." 

Please note that the crazily ticklish phrases listed in the following are normal, everyday English misadventures Naga leaders happily utter every day to / for the Media.

1.   I, on my own behalf…” 


      The most (in)famous of them all. Nagaland's ministers, society leaders, politicians, student-speakers etc., use that line when starting a speech. No, they don't suffer from Multiple Personality Disorder - but then, aren't politicians supposed to have two faces and two tongues anyway? 

2.  "Peace and tranquility is the need of the hour..."


      The commonest declarative you'll hear from, say, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and his Cabinet colleagues. They'll be seeking water for rain, very soon.        


3.  "Failure to do so we will take our own course of action...” 


      Led by presumably "more educated" students' organizations such as the Naga Students' Federation, that phrase-of-threat is probably the most overused, redundant and completely incoherent declarative organizations in Nagaland utter. It means, "we will react (if our demands are not met)." Maybe they should try someone else's own course of action for more effective results. 


4.  "Work for the *Upliftment of the people"


      Nagaland's history is honored by British and American education since the 1880s - even the dingiest of a 3-room cowshed village in the State has a government English primary school. Sadly nobody - including most of the Journalists in Nagaland - has yet to realize that there is no word called 'Upliftment.' The exact word is 'Uplift.' 

5.  *Insultation” 


      The one word worthy of salutation. The Naga person who created the unique word only meant to say ‘Insult’ or 'insulted')


6.  Request for Press Release” 


      Press Releases that are submitted to newspapers here, are always potent stress-busters. When you could have simply said "Press Release", you went ahead and made sure to add something suggestive of an appeal to the editor to publish it too.

7.  Press condemnation” 
      
    (Another. Press releases that contain statements denouncing, say, a law and order issue, come titled 'Press Condemnation'.

8.  Press condolence” Press releases that express condolences for demised persons. 

9.  We condemn the barbaric murder” 
       
    Only in Nagaland do we have civilized murder or decent rape and such, you see.

10. Inhuman killing

11. Uncivilized rape” (again)


12. Unitedly” (to mean ‘in unity’ or ‘united’)


13. Repeat again” 


      We love to make sure that our argument has been put across satisfactorily. Therefore, to ensure the next guy got it right, our dear NGOs use multiple expressions that have the same meaning. Twice.


14. Civil Societies” 


      There are no civil societies. Civil society is used only in the context of a cohesive platform, say for example, organizations,  not collective communities. Somebody please inform the government, NGOs, students and the underground groups in Nagaland.  


15.  Medical nurse” 


       Nagaland is still waiting for its Mechanical Robot


16.  General public” (Oh well, what do I say. Read more about that nonsense here) 


17.  Bandh and general blockade


18.  One single cadre


19.  Peaceful atmosphere,“tranquility”, “peaceful serenity” 


      ‘Atmosphere’ in the context of polity Nagas use in the recent times is, well, totally ridiculous. 'Apple orchards carry a peaceful atmosphere but definitely not politics, war or well, even the accentuation of peaceful times. 


20.  Great historical past” 


       Yes, another of the great multiple-words-one-meaning excesses

21.  HIV Virus” I thought HIV was the virus. It's like saying 'Vehicle car'.

22.  *“Secterianistic” (to mean ‘sectarian’)

23.  Government should implement the delimitation issue” 


       Projects, work or programs are implemented but not issues. Issues are addressed, or broached, or discussed, and not implemented)  


24.  *“Upgradation


        Another unique Naga brand that apparently means 'upgrade'

25.  "After the apprehension of the culprits...” 


       (In Nagaland, newspaper use the word 'apprehension' (Which actually means 'fear,  worry or 'anxiety') to mean ‘arrest’ or ‘capture.’


26.  *"Resignment” 


      To mean ‘resignation.’ Another strange Naga invention.

27.  “False propaganda” 

    The commonest and most awkward rebuttals the Indian military and Naga underground factions throw at each other.


28.  Non-availability” 


       The correct word is ‘unavailability’. Another Naga brand

29.  Un-satisfaction 
          
    (The correct word is ‘Dissatisfaction.’ This one was from a group of NPSC candidates - with English in that nature, they definitely have every right to be dissatisfied with their education!)

Concluding remarks 

But it is very ok if our English of Nagas is very bad and broken because we are original native Naga citizens and are dis-citizens of England country. 


Another reason is because we read decreased books, we unread newspaper, never reading national newspaper and hardly imagine beyond our egoistic, self-serving, tribal, factional, forever-Naga issue minds. Due to because we are also the very backward in intellectual sides but highly forward in college degree.

Even almost a scary amount of students’ organization is writing very bad English. The reason is unknown due to dissatisfaction from poor upliftment of our brains. 

And oh, readers, me will very cheerfully make you update when any new Naga-English invention is coming up OK? Please looking at this column for many new Naga English again!     

(Originally published - including the satirized "Concluding Remarks" section - in June, 2007, in the author's column United Colors of Nagaland', The Morung Express)

©2012 Al Ngullie ALL RIGHTS RESERVED This article contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher.