IN an apparent attempt to tackle news items that may damage its image, the state has issued a diktat to offices to send out rejoinders “debunking” negative and critical items published in newspapers about the government.
The rejoinders are to be sent to newspapers by afternoon on the day of publication. The CMO will monitor the process.
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A circular issued by Chief Secretary S S Kshatriya to heads of all government departments on March 22 also warns of serious action if officials concerned fail to follow the new procedure.
Copies of the rejoinders and clarifications sent to newspaper offices are to be sent to the CMO before 3 pm every day.
“News items about government schemes, policies, functioning, administration, government officers and staffers are published in the newspapers, which carry critical analysis. In this light, it’s important to send the government’s clarification to the newspaper concerned on the same day for publication. However, it has been noticed the clarification is… delayed, thus losing its importance,” says the circular.
If the rejoinder is concerned with a news item related to the chief minister, then the draft of the rejoinder should be sent to the CMO immediately, it says. The chief secretary has also directed the Director General of Information and Public Relations to co-ordinate the process and send a weekly report to the CMO.