|Owner(s)||Mayengbam Satyajit Singh|
|Editor||Leivon Jimmy Lamkang (Acting)|
|Headquarters||Imphal, Manipur, India|
|Website||Imphal Free Press|
Imphal Free Press is an English-language daily published in Manipur, India. Alongside the Sangai Express, it is one of the two most widely read newspapers of Manipur. The two papers are known as Manipur's only "good quality" newspapers, among approximately 40 papers in the state.
The original Imphal Free Press was owned by Sapam Nishikanta. In 1996 its editor Pradip Phanjoubam walked out with the name and started a new Imphal Free Press. Phanjoubam edits and owns the new Imphal Free Press ever since. Sapam Nishikanta continued publishing under the names Manipur Free Press that turned into the Sangai Express, now the main competitor of the Imphal Free Press.
In 2006, a faction of the Kangleipak Communist Party forced a ban of three months on the Imphal Free Press. On 11 November 2008 an Imphal Free Press editor, Konsam Rishikant, was assassinated.
The mass rape of Hmar girls in the Tipaimukh sub-division of Southern Manipur in 2006 did not get much media coverage in Manipur's capital Imphal. The Sangai Express and The Imphal Free Press, the most popular newspapers in Manipur, carried the news on the incident but failed to give justice to the story.
The appointment of a new chief administrative officer in Tamenglong by the rebel administration was a front page story in the Imphal Free Press, the region's leading daily newspaper.
The situation of the press thus can [be] described as at best precarious, although today Manipur boasts of almost 40-odd dailies being published from different parts of the state; most of them are local in nature and barely able to sustain themselves. Only with the coming of 'Imphal Free Press' in 1996 that Manipur got its first daily professionally run newspaper with Pradeep Phanjoubam as its editor. Today, The Sangai Express is known to be another good quality newspaper which has added value to the print media sector. But apart from these two dailies, newspapers have struggled with frequent brushes with the state and insurgents, and have left the editors with no elbow room to work at all.
The transition from letter press printing to offset printing by The Imphal Free Press (The Imphal Free Press referred to here is the newspaper owned by Sapam Nishikanta. Later on, the editor, Pradip Phanjaoubam, left the organisation and took the name with him, which he now uses for his own paper. Meanwhile, Sapam Nishikanta's paper briefly ran as the Manipur Free Press and was later christened The Sangai Express)
In 1996, Guwahati, the capital of Assam alone published 25 papers which Manipur equalled with the launching of the Imphal Free Press on offset in April 1996.
PRADIP PHANJOUBAM is editor of the Imphal Free Press, since 1996. He began his career in journalism in The Times of India in New Delhi and worked in various national newspapers, including the Business and Political Observer
In April 2006, a faction of the Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) held six Imphal-based newspaper editors hostage through the night and forced them to publish a statement about the outfit's "raising day" celebration which the editors had previously ignored. The KCP faction also clamped a three-month ban on the Imphal Free Press for misquoting an earlier statement.
On 17 November 2008, Konsam Rishikanta of the Imphal Free Press was shot dead by unknown gunmen—the sixth journalist to be killed in Manipur since 1993. When the media aired its suspicion about involvement of state police in the killing, there was no response from the state;