Source: Getty
Source: Getty

General News

Kerala Government Impose Restrictions On Media To Interact With CM Or Other High-profile Ministers

Written By Daamini Sharma | Mumbai | Published:

A fresh circular issued by the Kerala government imposing restrictions on the media over seeking reactions or television sound bytes of the CM and Ministers while covering events at public places. This has triggered a controversy with allegations of infringement on the freedom of the media.The circular was issued by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Subratha Biswas. 

According to the circular issued on 15th November:

  • Media is restricted from taking comments of the chief ministers, ministers, and other prominent personalities at public functions, airports, railway station
  • If the persons concerned want to interact with the media, the Information and Public Relations Department (I&PRD) should make the arrangement and they will communicate to the media
  • The media often tries to take comments forcefully and it obstructs the free movement of the persons, said the circular
  • Only accredited journalists would be allowed at the chief minister's press conferences
  • All government departments and offices are restricted from distributing press releases directly to the media. Instead it should be made through the I&PRD only

The additional chief secretary also maintained that officials who directly distributed press releases to the media were often made sources by the media for getting negative news about the government. He also suggested that the bureau chiefs may inform the I&PRD about the number of journalists and crew members and details of the OB-van for reporting an event at the secretariat in advance so as to avoid undue rush.

The entry of journalists without accreditation or press pass to the PRD was also restricted by visitors pass.

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Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala asked the government to withdraw the circular. The Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) sent a letter to chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan protesting against the circular.

Meanwhile, Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan maintained that no fresh restrictions were imposed on the media and that only some regulations for its smooth functioning were imposed.

Read: ''Kerala Government's Handling Of Sabarimala Issue Is Disappointing'', Says Amit Shah