JAMMU: Calling media as the most powerful tool for the formation of public opinion in the present times, Minister for Information, Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali Saturday urged the media to ensure fair and unbiased news reach to the people.
The Minister was speaking at an interactive session organized by the Jammu Newspapers Editors Guild here last evening.
The Minister said that the Information Department acts as an interface between the government and the media and all requisite steps are being taken for effective dissemination of information and projection of the government’s pro-people policies.
He said media being the fourth pillar of democracy has the innate responsibility to reach out to the people with credible and reliable information, which in turn facilitates public feedback on government policies. He said the state is facing enormous challenges and a positive role of media can go a long way in strengthening the initiatives of the government to bring peace and development.
“The mainstay of state’s economy is tourism and media can help to boost this sector by projecting the positivity of the state on national and international forums,” he asserted. He said the press can help in showcasing both captivating natural beauty of the state and its composite cultural ethos which give it a unique identity.
While listing various initiatives of the Information department, the Minister said that it has focused on providing a healthy environment to media organizations and journalists to perform their duties effectively.
“To further streamline the procedure, the government has ordered that payment of advertisement bills shall be made within 10 days after its receipt. To facilitate the process, the respective Joint Directors have already been designated as the independent controlling authority for release of government advertisement and payments,” he informed. He also said that steps for categorization of newspapers have already been initiated.
He also informed that work on the Press Club buildings at Srinagar and Rajouri is in progress and government is contemplating to establish press clubs in other districts also.
Also present on the occasion were Director Information, Muneer-ul-Islam, Joint Director Information Jammu, Manisha Sarin, Joint Director Information (HQ), Abdul Majid Zargar, Chairman Jammu Editors’ Guild, Raj Daluja, President, A K Sawhney, Senior Vice President, Ram Kumar Dubey, Vice Presidents, Rajiv Mahajan, Syed Iqbal Kazmi, Subash Mehra, General Secretaries, Vijay Gupta, Joint Secretary, Vishal Chopra and other members.