Tit for Tat: Local dailies black out govt press notes as Info deptt chokes advts

Tit for Tat: Local dailies black out govt press notes as Info deptt chokes advts

 

Afaq Bhat

Srinagar, Nov 26: The state run Information department has made a mockery of the new advertisement policy as it has failed to disclose the criteria which it’s following to distribute the advertisements among the local dailies being published from Srinagar.
Barring a few dailies, most newspapers which hit the stands in Kashmir everyday are grappling with number of issues as the Jammu and Kashmir government has cut off the advertisement revenue drastically. “The government advertisements till the recent past used to be backbone of the local dailies in Kashmir. This backbone has been broken and the irony is that no one is ready to listen,” said an editor of a local daily.
He said that officials of the Information department at the pretext of digital revolution are trying their best to undermine the importance of the print editions of the dailies being published in J&K. “They are ignoring the fact that these dailies reach the far flung areas and are read by the people who don’t have access to internet. A notion has been created that days of print media are numbered and it’s no point investing at it,” the editor said. “J&K is the only state in the country where the print media is facing the onslaught from the government and it’s being pushed to the wall.”
He said that most of the daily newspapers being published from Srinagar have their websites and are quite active on the social media. “Whatever these dailies publish in their print editions goes on the internet. By choking the advertisement flow to these dailies the officials of the Information department are doing a big disservice to the government,” the editor added.
Another editor of a local daily said, “The officials of the Information department have failed to even highlight the achievements of the government as many dailies don’t carry the official press notes as a mark of protest against the advertisements being choked.”
He said, “The dailies which could have survived this onslaught are still existing but the ones which couldn’t have winded up the operations. The narrow minded approach of a few people has created a wedge between the media and the government. Many editors, whom Information department officials call small time editors, are of the firm belief that why should they accommodate the press notes which are issued by the government when they don’t get regular advertisements for providing space to sarkari items. All of us know it very well that no government lasts forever and this government would also go. It’s just a matter of time.”
The editor opined that present dispensation has lost contact with the people on the ground and is unaware about the ground realities. “Organizing luncheons or dinners for the newspaper owners and scribes once in a blue moon won’t help this government’s cause as it’s fighting a lost battle. The people who are ruling J&K would repent for their mistakes in future.”