Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav gestures during the inauguration of 10 MW solar power plant at Mahoba on February 2, 2015. In the same programme he also announced 124 developmental projects.

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav gestures during the inauguration of 10 MW solar power plant at Mahoba on February 2, 2015. In the same programme he also announced 124 developmental projects.

Popularly  called  the  ‘Fourth  Pillar  of  Democracy’,  the  media  has  made  itself  indispensable  to the functioning of our nation, owing to its mammoth reach and influence. While the Fourth Pillar of Democracy thrives, it is important not to overlook the problems that may plague it at one point or the other.  Addressing these problems requires some prudence and concern  about  the  freedom  and  efficient  functioning  of  the  media at  large.  A welcome development  in  this  direction  is  the  launch  of  the nation’s  first  Media  Helpline  number  for journalists and media persons across the state of Uttar Pradesh this January.

The  media helpline  number  (1880)  has  been  made  operational,  and  will  be  instrumental  in giving  a  channel  to  the complaints of and  the problems faced by media  persons.  The helpline will be managed  by  the  State  Information  and  Public  Relations  Department,  and  the  call  centre  will provide assistance to individuals working with the media. 

The  helpline  enables  people  from  the  press  to  file  grievances  online  and expect  redressal within 72  hours. The helpline ensures solutions to urgent complaints within 24 hours. The helpline is aided by multiple hunting lines so that multiple calls can be connected at once.  The  helpline  works  to  facilitate  single  spot  monitoring  of  issues  related to journalists’ security, protection of their interests and resources. 

The  idea  behind  this  initiative  is  strengthening  the  media’s  presence  in  the  state.  Such a helpline will go a long way in ensuring that the ideals and principles of the media are upheld in our society.  This step, launched by the Akhilesh Yadav led Government, is an important first step in ensuring an efficient media.

Hopefully, other states will emulate this step to provide quick solutions and support for the problems faced by media personnel.

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Posted by The Indian Economist