You must have heard of the Department of Information and Public Relations in every state, but do you know why it exists? This nodal department works as an interface between the media and government. So, it plays a rather critical role in making sure that the general people are updated with the latest events, policies and programs, activities, achievements, and initiatives undertaken by the respective state government. This department has an all-important task of making a media policy that the state will follow and this must be committed to the dissemination of accurate information.
What functions do the Department of Information and Public Relations perform?
- To start with, this department will publicize the programs and plans undertaken by a state government and highlight the progress it has achieved in deploying such initiatives. It will therefore be the catalyst, distributing relevant news like messages, press releases and news articles pertaining to daily events and policies being implemented by governments. Apart from visits made by the VIPs, even significant observations or programs in districts is given a wide coverage throughout a state via this department.
- To get this done, the department will have to consult and collaborate with district administration to know about the plans and programs. They will also have to work with the respective departments organizing publicity campaigns on different socio-economic issues like hygiene, health, social welfare, poverty eradication, communal harmony, etc.
- Where field publicity is concerned, this department must ensure the proper use and routine maintenance of projection units, like film show screening and video-shows with themes of development and submit monthly reports to the DIPR. They will also provide PA or Public Address systems for governmental and VIP functions in all districts, making mobile announcements as deemed necessary.
- This department can also record VIP speeches given by Chief Ministers in states and that of other ministers during their district visits and send these to DIPR to be published. It is their obligation to send press releases for every visit, developmental event, and incident and these often get printed in newspapers.
- It is also expected to provide photo coverage for all major developmental functions during events like Independence Day, Republic Day, and local festivities.
- The department can help organize cultural activities along with Cultural Affairs department and local organizations from time to time.
- The department also protects the freedom of press in the different states and has contributed to an environment that promotes healthy journalism. They help in growth of media through different initiatives that will benefit state journalists. At times, they can even distribute laptops, cameras, printers, and computers to modernize press and help the state journalists.
- The photo section in this department arranges for film and video coverage for all state government activities. These photos and press release are then sent to all daily newspapers and key outstation newspapers through emails.
- The press section is one of the key wings in this department that concerns itself with journalist welfare programs and media coordination. This will arrange press tours for getting an idea of progress achieved in different fields, receive features and articles, and post news in media for public awareness. It will also organize press conferences to get feedback on various governmental policies.
- The department makes an effort to increase awareness amongst people on social misconduct issues like female feticide, dowry, child labor, and HIV through promotions. Mobile vans are used for promoting policies while street plays are hosted for promoting awareness about projects being conducted in villages.