UPA facing challenge in providing level media field: Soni

The UPA government was facing a challenge in providing a level playing field to both private and public media for disseminating information about its various development schemes.

Last Updated: Jul 12, 2010, 22:20 PM IST

Guwahati: The UPA government was facing a
challenge in providing a level playing field to both private
and public media for disseminating information about its
various development schemes, Information and Broadcasting
Minister Ambika Soni today said.

"How to reach out to citizens` in people`s language,
being viewer friendly with more local content in DD broadcast
is a challenge providing level field to all the channels
including DD and AIR," Soni said.

Speaking at the All India Editors Conference on social
and infrastructure issues here, she said, "Government is
conscious of section 219 and media is operating since the past
six-seven years without any control in regulation of content.

"There has to be self and core regulation which will
be the answer", she said.

"The Press Council and Election Commission were
engaged in studying political and economic paid news content
in the media and we are seeing how DAVP can be more active in
this," Soni said.

The Editors Conference where top officials of the I
and B ministry are participating will discuss "what
infrastructure has been provided (to the media) and what we
should have and what needs to be done with ground reality in
perspective", she said.

According to the minister, the UPA government`s
welfare schemes are good and initiatives are plenty and there
is a desire to reach out to each citizen but sometimes
information is not available to the people.

"It is during such times that the media helps people
to reach the schemes," she said adding communication gaps can
be addressed by such meetings.

She advocated empowerment through communication and
information.

Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khursheed said his
ministry wants to ensure that no group or community gets
overlooked in the process of implementation of schemes.

Assam is a state with a large minority community and
13 of its districts have been selected for special attention
under a programme for scientific analysis of the causes of
backwardness, he said.

"Deficiency of drinking water, school girls` hostel
and health facilities are topped up by our ministry with
additional funds," he said.

PTI