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Sukhpal Singh Khaira, MLA Bholath


Media policy of Punjab Govt make lofty
promises to journalists

Sukhpal Singh Khaira
MLA Bholath.
Sept. 09, 2010

Congress debunks the belated visionless so called media policy of Punjab Govt. released yesterday.  Although the SAD had made tall promises in its election manifesto, promising freedom and independence of press in the state besides making lofty promises to journalists. Any policy adopted by a govt. should be a vision document full of farsightedness but unfortunately the one page document released yesterday was nothing but a futile attempt to hoodwink the media fraternity.

Meager promises of free bus travel, an insurance cover of Rs. 5 lacs each and setting up an accreditation committee cannot be considered a media policy. The govt. should have gone deep down into the problems being faced by field journalist, suitable and honourable arrangements should have been made to ensure free, fair and  transparent reporting from the field. The govt. should have laid down appropriate rules for allocating govt. sponsored advertisements unlike the present pick and choose politically motivated policy offered to few newspapers. The govt. should also have looked into paid news system which curbs the expression of freedom of people. Blackmailing tactics being adopted by unauthorized reporters has also not been dealt with in the so called policy.

Problems being faced by electronic media and hijacking of cable network in the state by political mafia finds no reference in the Media Accreditation Rules – 2009 other than formation of a committee and inclusion of few electronic journalists in the committee.

To sum up the media policy is nothing but old, obsolete wine in an old bottle (even the bottle is not new) clearly reflecting the tired, fatigued and bogged down negative attitude of the govt.  Therefore, the principle opposition congress party rejects this spiritless policy and demands that an all party committee be formed to give its report on framing a long term policy of a free and fair media in Punjab.