SRINAGAR: To preserve the freedom of press in Jammu and Kashmir, the Press Council of India (PCI) has suggested nearly dozen measures to the state and union governments.
In a 16-page report, the PCI has recommended that the allocation and rates of advertisements be increased by the state government while it has asked for adoption of DAVP policy in distribution of advertisements. The PCI also suggested the central government advertising agency to increase its quantum of advertisement.
On the working of journalists in Kashmir, the PCI has recommended that the scribes be provided with bulletproof jackets and helmets while as stressing on the state government to implement the Majithia wage board award as per the Supreme Court order.
The PCI report asked the state government to implement the J&K Journalists Welfare Fund without any further delay while seeking reimbursement of all medical expenses for the injured scribes.
Observing that only Srinagar and Jammu based journalists are given the accreditation, the PCI asked the state government to use the cards to reporters from peripheral districts as well.
It remarked that the transmission of information to journalists were facing hiccups thus recommending that the government should ensure a system to provide news/information without delay and it asked the armed forces to work out a more liberal and transparent information system to give news as soon as possible to local journalists.
The media monitoring body asked the government agencies to honour the press/curfew passes of the journalists. It has further suggested regular interaction between media fraternity and armed forces, police and the government.
Asking media to play a more professional and ethical role at all levels, the PCI has said that they must be concerned about “their own black sheep within the fold who tarnish the image of media”.
“No writing should be branded objectionable and subjected to punitive action until the PCI has considered the matter and given its views on it,” the PCI recommendations said.
The PCI has suggested the government of India to strengthen the AIR and Doordarshan in J&K with full staff and latest high-powered transmitting equipment.
Further, the PCI said that the private TV channels should be encouraged “to prepare and show special programmes on J&K to project correct and unbiased understanding of Kashmir in the world”.
“The gap between Jammu and Kashmir and rest of the national media should be bridged,” the PCI report said adding that the inter-regional media exchange will promote a better understanding among Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh journalists. “Similarly, J&K journalists should be encouraged to visit other parts of the nation and interact with their counterparts there and vice-versa.”
The PCI has concluded that the government should encourage professional organizations/associations to hold sessions and seminar in the state.