State

DIPR working on PPP Mode, strangulating true spirit of journalism

golden yug
[ August 21, 2017 ] Regional discrimination against media fraternity by Department of Information and various government agencies at various levels has badly shattered the faith of media houses in Jammu and particularly small newspapers have been forced to close their newspapers as little financial help they were getting has squeezed badly for them following which they are mulling to close publishing of newspapers in absence of any positive steps by Information department to address their issues. Department of Information under the guidance of certain officials playing dirty games within the fraternity and doing pick and choose policy for distribution of Government advertisements and also favoring them at various levels. Department of information has different set of policies for both the regions. In Kashmir, where the role of government is protective and helping for newspapers, it follows a vicious design against the Jammu based newspapers. It is evident from the fact that last year during turmoil in last valley advertisements worth more than 10 crores was distributed among Kashmir based newspapers.The newspapers are the major source of highlighting the achievements of the government but the department concerned is forcing the newspaper fraternity to go against the government as they have been discriminated. Concerned Minister must reframe advertisement policy and instruct information department to provide equitable distribution of advertisements to newspapers based in Jammu as well as Kashmir Valley. Advertisements are the major source of income for any media outlet. The government has been using this tactic of blocking ads largely in the past few years. The motive is obvious, to force media organizations to desist from reporting stories that go against the government’s interests. Advertisements given out by the Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) favour “certain kind of newspapers. The distribution of government advertisements is done selectively and a few newspapers are deliberately kept out of the list. This is happening because the government has made advertisement policy to do justice with all types of newspapers. Now it is ample clear that Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) is distributing ads on commission basis as there are newspapers being published monthly and getting handsome advertisements where as daily newspapers failed to get what the monthly and weekly newspapers get monthly. To quote few examples a monthly Hindi Magazine as per its date of publication from August 1 to August 31st 2017 were released nearly 400 cm advertisements vide DIP Nos DIP/J3213, DIP/J3773, DIP/J-3903 respectively. Likewise a Weekly vide DIP/J-4219 manages to get handsome ads monthly. Another black and white daily having good tuning with the staff of department has been issued handsome advertisements in a single day vide DIP/J 1243-P, DIP/J4344, DIP/J 4363, DIP/J1255-P besides 1200 Cm advertisements by various Municipal Committees with the pix of Dy CM was issued out of way with a aim to keep concerned Minister happy and in turn to editor with whom they have settlement on commission basis. sycophancy is at top in Information Department, those who enjoy good political relations and are in good books of staff of Information Department getting advertisements in bulk for their newspapers and those who are dedicated towards their professional duties and don’t visit department their newspapers are not considered for advertisements. This is reality now that there are hundreds of daily newspapers who don’t get even 4oo cm monthly and at the same time weekly, monthly and some daily newspapers also getting much more than the others which speaks of highly discriminatory attitude of department while releasing govt advertisements. There is no calculation nor any criteria while releasing advertisements as not only daily but even weekly newspapers have been badly discriminated as few of the weekly newspapers got nearly 400 Cms monthly and at the same time other weeklies could not get even 50 cms. Same is the fate with Fortnightlies also. Govt and particularly Information Department must take serious cue of this discrimination and must ensure that distribution of advertisements be made transparent without any partiality or prejudice so that true spirit of journalism remains priority of department and the journalists continue to perform their professional duties without favoring anyone and opposing anyone on vested interests. It is surprising and highly unfortunate that Govt advertisements worth lacs covering ordinary events are being distributed among national papers which don’t cover govt policies and programmes in the form of news but the newspapers which duly covers all the govt events and publish it in their newspapers don’t even deserve as per department even 100 cm advertisements. A full page coloured display nature advertisement worth lacs to national daily with coverage of flag off event and the same was duly covered by all the newspapers as detailed news on August 19 2017 is sheer wastage of public money to keep national media happy at the cost of hardworking local newspapers. There is no doubt that Govt doing it to keep national papers happy so that positive reporting reaches outside state and they are not asked uncomfortable questions. This is perhaps the reason why local journalists are switching on to some other professions as in absence of advertisements to newspapers to pay monthly salaries of staff has become hard nut to crack. On one hand Govt fighting hard to keep the energy of youth positive to ensure their involvement in prosperity of state and other hand those giving their services as journalists doing a great job in highlighting the social issues and reminding the Govt what should it do and where it should go are unable to get monthly salaries due to irregular payments by department and that too meager to bear the expenses of publishing a newspaper.