‘Vartalap’ at Srinagar: Journalism, a bridge between people, government; need to have coherence at all levels, says Speakers

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SRINAGAR: Press Information Bureau, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India organised a day-long media workshop – “Vartalap” on Saturday at Jammu and Kashmir Department of Information and Public Relations Srinagar’s auditorium here. The workshop aimed at sensitising journalists from Srinagar and Budgam districts about various GoI-sponsored schemes and their role to create awareness among the masses.
The programme was inaugurated by Director Information, Department of Information and Public Relation, Jammu and Kashmir, Tariq Ahmad Zargar and was attended by a large number of eminent media persons from Srinagar and Budgam districts along with other officials.
Tariq Ahmad Zargar in his address said that it is essential for media persons to know about different government schemes in detail so that proper information could reach to the people at ground level. He said there is a need to have coherence at both public and private levels. “Different departments should have training programmes for capacity building so that the information about different programmes is effectively communicated to the masses in an organised manner,” he added.
Highlighting the role of emerging trends in communication, he said that the media persons have to strive to maintain relevance in view of the changing trends. “The statistics need to be collected to assess the implementation of different schemes at ground level and implementation flaws need to be brought to the notice of concerned authorities,” he added further.
Deputy Director, Press Information Bureau Srinagar, Ghulam Abbas said that the aim of organising such programme is to highlight the role of media to bring awareness among people about different government-sponsored schemes and initiatives. He suggested that scheme implementation, analysis and results should also be reported properly to determine the actual outcome at ground level.
Emphasising the need of developmental reporting, he said that journalism should act as a bridge between people and government and “work towards ensuring proper implementation of government programmes”.
Laying stress on healthy criticism of government departments by media he maintained that administrative officers shouldn’t get offended by constructive criticism “which is essential for social development”. “There is a spectrum of government schemes for the benefit of people, however, proper awareness is needed in public for their maximum utilisation,” he further added.
A number of experts delivered talks during the day-long programme. In his talk, Editor-in-Chief, Ziraat Times, Arjimand Hussain Talib spoke about the importance of agricultural journalism in the state and the need to create public opinion keeping in view the bigger transformation from subsistence to commercial sector.
Senior Journalist, Tariq Bhat spoke about the convergence of media in the contemporary world and the way it can drive development at the grassroots.
Bureau Chief, Pioneer, Khurshid Wani spoke about the role and contribution of print media towards holistic development of rural areas.
RTI activist, Raja Muzafar Bhat pointed out how RTI Act can be used as a tool to highlight the status of implementation of various government-sponsored schemes.
Bureau Chief, News18, Manoj Koul underlined the role and responsibility of electronic media in covering people-centric initiatives including Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
Syed Nazneen Qadri from JKEDI emphasised on the need to provide ample coverage to various entrepreneurship initiatives offered by the government for the youth of the state.
Media persons hailed the efforts of PIB for organising the programme to highlight the benefits of GoI-sponsored schemes for rural people.
‘Vartalap’ is one of the components of PIBs media outreach strategy. Similar workshops have earlier been organised by PIB in various districts of the Valley.