Media delegation meets CS, seeks assurance for timely redressal of grievances

Port Blair
29 Nov 2017

The President, A&N Media Federation, along with a delegation of mediapersons met the Chief Secretary, A&N Administration and placed various issues of the local media in the Islands. They put forth their genuine grievances for consideration and necessary action by the Chief Secretary. They informed that the local private media resorted to boycotting the National Press Day Celebration organised by the IP Division of Administration as a mark of  protest against the biased approach of the officials of IP&T in treating the private media at par with The Daily Telegrams.
Notable demand put forth by the local media before the Chief Secretary includes granting of accreditation card to all local media. After listening to the demand of the local media, the Chief Secretary asked the media federation to prepare a draft in this regard as per their own understanding and as per the local condition and submit the same to the IP Division. The draft will be studied by the administration and action will be taken accordingly.
On the issue of revising the unit rate of advertisements, including revision of norms for increasing the size of advertisements at par with the size of advertisements of DVAP, Government of India, he assured that this will be done soon.
The local media persons requested the Chief Secretary to stop publishing of private advertisements in ‘The Daily Telegrams’ and non-publishing of tenders in the government newspaper. All government advertisements should be uploaded in the NIC website so that the concerned people can see the tenders from the website. The Chief Secretary assured that this issue will also be looked into in a positive manner.
On the issue of resuming the annual tour programmes involving the private media, the Chief Secretary directed the Director IP department to set up a system and depute the local media accordingly. On the issue of payment of advertisement of long pending bills, he directed the Director IP to setup a mechanism for payment of advertisement bills to local media. In this regard, he assured that a circulation will be issued to various departments to clear the advertisement bills of private media. He also directed the IP Director to release advertisements to all private media on various welfare schemes launched by the central government from time to time so that the local media can atleast sustain. He further directed the IP Department to ensure that local media participate in the India International Trade Fair held every year at New Delhi. The CS directed that the tour may be conducted as per the IP roster on regular basis.
On the issue of making compulsory the participation of private media in the VVIP press conferences of Central Ministers visiting the Islands, the Chief Secretary said that it is on the will of the Minister to meet the local media or not as the Administration cannot compel the Minister to meet the local press. On the issue of convening monthly press conference with administrative secretaries each  month enabling the media to make the public aware of the government  programmes and plans, the Chief Secretary assured that this  can be done and directed the IP Director to make necessary arrangement in this regard.
On the issue of sponsoring free insurance against life and accidents to mediapersons, he said that as such no policy exist in this regard. However, he assured to verify, if such  policy can be implemented. On disbursal of payment of advertisement charges through the IP&T as client departments indulge in inordinately delaying in the payment on various pretexts, he directed the IP department to take care of this issue. On the issue of providing free laptops to media persons as promised by the former Lt Governor, Lt.Gen (Retd) A.K.Singh, the CS directed the Director IP to put up this issue on file and let the present Lt Governor take the decision. The president of the federation informed that electronic media in the Islands face great difficulties in operation due to no issuance of advertisement to the electronic media. On this issue, the CS assured that a policy will be framed for the electronic media and as per the policy they will also get advertisements.
The mediapersons also raised the issue of posting of local Police Officer in place of Dy. SP Nishant Gupta who is very negative with the local media. The Chief Secretary assured to look into the matter. Media persons informed him that soon they will also meet the DGP on this issue. The president, A&N Media Federation expressed his gratitude to the Chief Secretary for meeting with the local media and hearing their issues and problems and also directing the IP Division to resolve these issues.