Director Information and Public Relations, Muneer-ul-Islam, today said that journalism in Jammu and Kashmir is still thriving with new media taking the centre stage.
“We are in the process of reorienting the Department of Information and Public Relations to keep pace with the fast-changing media scenario around us,” the Director Information said while interacting with the students of the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) who visited the Media Complex here today to get first-hand knowledge about the functioning of DIPR.
He said of late various initiatives have been taken to professionalize the functioning of DIPR and services of around 35 Journalism pass outs are being presently utilized to tune-up the functioning of the Department. He said the Department is also bracing itself to venture into the online and social media and as a first step the Department has launched dedicated news and advertisement portals. He said the Department will be inviting reputed journalists and media-persons from within and outside the State for regular interaction with the students of journalism.
He said DIPR is the biggest source of news and advertisements for the media in J&K and various measures are being taken for the welfare of the journalists including formulation of a Journalists Welfare Scheme and constitution of Media Advisory Committee to deliberate on the issues confronting the media-persons. He said lot of job opportunities are opening up for the Mass Communication pass-outs, both in the private and the government sectors. “Even in the Information Department we have scores of posts vacant at the cutting edge level including Information Officers, Assistant Information Officers and Information Assistants where the services of Mass Communication pass-outs can be utilized effectively,” he said and added that similarly there is a great demand from other Government Departments as well to undertake IEC and media related activities in a professional manner for which professionally qualified persons are always in demand.
The Director Information announced that DIPR would explore the possibility of offering paid internship opportunities to the Mass Communication and Journalism students at Jammu and Srinagar to hone their professional skills.
Elaborating on the fundamentals of journalism, Muneer-ul-Islam said the media students should have strong niche in writing, editing and other technical knowledge of different media so that they can excel in different areas of journalism. “DIPR is on path to create a wave of professionals and in order to give maximum credible source of information on developmental issues and not issuing the rhetoric statements,” he said. Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Director Information (PR), Sheikh Zahoor, who extensively deals with the official press releases, gave the students an insight of different wings of DIPR and their day-to-day functioning.
“Our prime job is to put the official engagements of government in public domain which we do through print, electronic and new media,” he said, and added that the DIPR is taking all possible measures to turn the Department into a purely professional organization where trained media professionals are assigned the job of handling the media relations of the government.
He also gave a detailed summary about the functioning of the various wings of the department including Public Relations wing, Audio Visual, Advertisement wing, Publications, Research and Reference Section, Feedback Section and Outdoor.
Speaking on the session, Monisa Qadri, Course Coordinator of Public Relations at IUST Awantipora said the visit was organized to give an insight to the students of how PR department of government works. “Being students of PR, they had to know how practically the PR system functions and operates,” she said.
Interactive session was followed by the question- answer sessions in which students posed different questions related to the PR which were answered in detail by the officers.