Govt issues circular to provide media kits to minority community scribes

March 8, 2018 by  
Filed under India, newsletter-india

Karnataka, March 8, 2018: The Karnataka government seems to have landed in another controversy by issuing a circular to provide a media kit comprising gadgets to journalists from minority communities and two full-page advertisements to minority community-run media houses.

In what is being perceived as a move to divide even media houses on the basis of caste and community, the minority welfare department on March 1 issued the circular, stating that all accredited journalists from the minority community will get a media kit with a laptop, handycam and still camera worth Rs 61,750. The circular also asks the government to provide two-full page ads outlining its achievements in the past five years.

According to department officials, the demand for the kits and ads came from some minority community journalists and Urdu newspapers in the state. Minority welfare minister Tanveer Sait was unavailable for comments despite repeated phone calls and messages.

Mohammad Mohsin, secretary, minority welfare department, confirmed the issuance of such a circular. “While our department will release the money towards the scheme, we have asked the department of information and public relations (DIPR) to give us a list of accredited minority journalists and reputed minority media houses,” said Mohsin.

The demand is said to have surfaced after the social welfare department decided to introduce a scheme for SC/ST journalists and newspapers run by people from the community. “Later, the scheme was extended to journalists and media houses belonging to backward classes.

“In such a scenario, there was pressure on the department to introduce the same scheme, and the minister asked us to look into the matter,” said a department official. Government sources admitted the scheme was extended to minorities and other castes and communities in light of the upcoming 2018 assembly elections.

A senior Urdu journalist commented on the scheme, saying the interest in these media kits and advertisements was not “intentional.” “When one of our journalists met minister Tanveer Sait to seek his opinion on whether the social welfare department scheme can be extended to minorities, we were told it would be looked into. If the matter snowballs into a controversy, we will refuse to accept the scheme,” said the journalist.

– times of india

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