The Press Council of India (PCI) which held its full council meeting in Srinagar on Monday approved the report of the Sub-Committee on media and media scenario in Jammu and Kashmir at the full Council meet. The report was released at a Press Conference addressed by the PCI Chairman Justice C K Prasad in Srinagar.
Although the meet of the full council can be termed an important event for the entire state as it is for the first time in recent history that the PCI held its full council meeting in Srinagar.
Pertinently, a 3-Member PCI Sub-Committee headed by S N Sinha visited Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh earlier this year to discuss the issues facing the media in the State.
The PCI Chairman while releasing the report “Media and Media Scenario of J&K” admitted that unfortunate incidents have affected industry in J&K which has not grown, but media, which includes newspapers and magazines, has witnessed an increased growth.
The media industry as such has been hugely relying on government advertisements for support. This fact is also admitted in the report as the Industry has been witnessing arm-twisting by union and the state governments without any legitimate reasons.
The stunted growth of the public sector in the state has resulted in such a messy situation as the media especially the print has to be dependent on the government for the advertisement support.
However, all said and done, the newspaper Industry has shown an upward trend and is not only growing but helping in sustaining itself as an Industry and providing employment, direct as well as indirect-to thousands of skilled and semi skilled people.
The growth of the print media industry can be gauged by the number of publications that have come up over the years and have done well, given the circumstances and the resources available in the state.
Besides, these institutions have been making their presence felt in the multimedia sector as most of them have their portals, e-newspapers and facebook pages to increase their reach and impact among the audience.
The growth in terms of numbers in the multimedia setup also speaks volumes about the industry’s success in getting a sizeable chunk of audiences into their fold.
But what the PCI has missed out is that they have not highlighted media’s role in emerging as one of the biggest employment providers in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The state as of now has almost six lakh unemployed youth who are waiting for the day when they too will be in a position to earn something for themselves and their families. The PCI, in this back drop should have suggested anything concrete for the government and other semi-government organisations, on whom these news organisations depend for their advertisement revenue for not resorting to overt or covert means of subjugating their voice by curtailing their support using unfair means.