To recognize and honor the excellence in journalism in J&K, Minister for Information, Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA) Choudhary Zulfkar Ali on Wednesday announced “Institution of Annual J&K State Media Awards” to be presented by the Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) on World Press Freedom Day every year.
Making the announcement during the review meeting of DIPR convened at the Media Complex here today, the Minister said to begin with the awards would conferred in two categories including one for Lifelong Contribution to the Field of Journalism in J&K, and another for Reporter of the Year. “The awards will be given as a mark of recognition and acknowledgement of the contribution towards the field of journalism in the State,” the Minister said.
The meeting also discussed the modalities for constitution of the State Media Advisory Committee (SMAC), as recommended by Press Council of India, to hash-out the day-to-day issues being faced by the journalists while performing their professional duties. The DIPR was asked by the Minister to immediately set the process into motion for constitution of SMAC.
Taking cognizance of the acute shortage of professional human resource in DIPR, the Minister asked the Department to start fresh process for empanelment of the Stringers (Reporters) from amongst the professionally qualified youth as was done in 2015.
The Minister also asked DIPR to take up the issue of filling up all the vacant posts on substantive basis, especially at the cutting edge levels, with the Services Selection Board (SSB).
The meeting also discussed creation of a “New Independent Mechanism” for distribution of government advertisements to the newspapers, and to seek its delinking from Public Relations work of the Department. It was said that two separate entities on the pattern of Directorate of Audio Visual and Publicity (DAVP) and Press Information Bureau (PIB) would be created to deal separately with the advertisement distribution and Public Relations. The Minister said such a mechanism will help DIPR to come up as a professional organization entrusted exclusively the PR work. He asked DIPR to submit a detailed proposal in this regard to the Government.
The meeting also held threadbare discussions on the categorization of approved newspapers, periodicals for distribution of Government advertisements. The Minister called for constituting a committee to categorize the newspapers and periodicals in light of the parameters set in Government Order No: ID/A/22/2017 dated: 13-03-2017. The Committee will be headed by Joint Director Information (Headquarters) with Joint Director Information Jammu/Kashmir, Deputy Director Information Jammu/Kashmir and one representative each from MERC, Kashmir University and IIMC Jammu as members. The Committee will finalize the categorization by ending August 2017.
Stressing the need to strengthen the Kashmir Bureau of Information (KIB) in New Delhi, the Minister said the bureau needs to act like a hub of information about J&K for the national media. The Minister stressed upon the concerned officers to strengthen liaison with journalists at the national level.
The meeting also decided to hold two festivals to showcase the State and the programme will be coordinated by Deputy Director, PR. The first three-day festival would be held in Delhi towards the end of next month, while the second one will be held in Kashmir later on.