India

Apply mind before taking future decisions

golden yug
[ September 29, 2017 ] There is well-known saying that “It is never too late to mend” and the same is applicable with regard to functioning of Information Department as it first issues direction illogically and then succumbs to pressure when professional journalists show them the mirror by narrating their mistakes on facts and figures and its consequences on media persons. To make our point clear, Information Department vide Govt Order No.28-ID of 2017 dated 3-8-2017 passed out a direction which reads as, “in order to avoid wasteful expenditure and to ensure maximum outreach of the Govt advertisements among the target audience through print media, it is hereby ordered that henceforth advertisements shall be issued to three newspapers only, two in focus division and one in other Division. However this particular order was termed by editors of small newspapers as insulting and demoralizing and particularly the language of order was deeply and seriously resented by Editors of small newspapers as it was great disrespect to their efforts and hard work they put in publishing newspapers in absence of decent financial support from department whose pattern and system of distribution of Govt advertisements has always been biased and this order just added fire and salt on their bounds. It deserves mentioning here that recently Press Council of India Sub Committee visited the Jammu and this particular order and its language was earnestly resented before the visiting team and infect at that time team had taken serious note of this especially when it was brought into the notice of team that department seriously violating the guidelines of Apex Court of India by depicting the pictures of Ministers in Govt advertisements display in nature contrary to the direction passed by Supreme Court of India. It was also brought into the notice of team that if giving few CMs advertisement to small newspapers is wastage of money what about the money which is being wasted by department by releasing govt advertisements with large size photographs of concerned Ministers. It seems that after strong rebuking by visiting team, information department has realized its mistake of passing nonsense order and following which it has on 27-9-2017 vide Govt Order No.36-ID of 2017 was forced to make modification to Govt Order No. 28-ID of 2017 dated 3-8-2017 by ordering that henceforth advertisements shall be issued to four newspapers three in focus Division and one in other division. It is advisable on part of Information department not to proceed towards killing the morale of small newspapers by blocking their publication with meager release of Govt advertisements and releasing in bulk to blue eyed newspapers without consideration of any merit. Department must understand that small newspapers are much more effective tool in taking policies and programmes of Govt to gross root level in comparison to big media houses who are more concerned with advertisements without any focus on news contents. The department must in future take every decision ensuring equitable treatment with all newspapers till they categorize newspapers as any further injustice with small newspapers will take them at the verge of closing their publications and if it happens it will be murder of true spirit of journalism and will also corrode very foundation of fourth pillar of democracy.