With Assembly elections in Jharkhand just a few months away, the Raghubar Das government has introduced a ‘scheme’ to publicise its welfare projects by getting journalists to write about it.
According to an advertisement published by the State Information and Public Relation department, the state will pay Rs 15,000 to 30 selected journalists to prepare four articles on government programmes. Out of these 120 stories, 25 would be selected to be compiled in a booklet. Those writers whose articles get selected for booklet will be provided with an additional Rs 5,000 each.
“The ruling @BJP4Jharkhand govt, it’s officials & our hon’ble CM @dasraghubar have breached all norms of ethics & moraliy. Open advrt by Govt publicity wing to journalists in #Jharkhand to write on #Vikas & earn money as fees. #PressCouncil & @MIB_India should take cognizance,” tweeted, Leader of Opposition, executive president of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Hemant Soren.
The ruling @BJP4Jharkhand govt , it’s officials & our hon’ble CM @dasraghubar have breached all norms of ethics & moraliy. Open advrt by Govt publicity wing to journalists in #Jharkhand to write on #Vikas & earn money as fees. #PressCouncil & @MIB_India should take cognizance . https://t.co/OmK8I2Io54 pic.twitter.com/o133zZmHmQ
— Hemant Soren (@HemantSorenJMM) September 16, 2019
“The government has not taken this initiative on its own. Several journalists had been asking for such a scheme for a long time. If the journalists demand something from the government, then the government always tries to fulfil their demands,” Jharkhand BJP spokesperson Deendayal was quoted as saying by The Print.
Ajay Nath Jha, deputy director of public relations department, told The Hindu that, “Applications have been invited from journalists to write about government welfare schemes. The write-ups could be success stories and critical pieces. We want proper and independent assessment of our projects,” he said.