Vijayawada: The state government believes that it is imperative for news pertaining to various government departments needs to be accurate, without any distortion, slant or prejudice.
A day after the government decided to empower department secretar-ies to file cases in courts against false news, government sources said on Thursday said the Cabinet has resolved to give impetus on a free flow of information with accuracy and objectivity.
As the news appearing in media has a wide reach and the impact could be deep, the state government had earlier empowered the Commis-sioner of Information and Public Relations (I&PR) to handle any distortion or news published with mala fide intention and take it to the logical conclusion.
The commissioner was entitled to follow the due process, like issuing a rejoinder, ensuring that the correction is given the same prominence as the wrongly published or televised news was given, including the placement/time slot and has full clarity besides being properly sourced.
If all such procedures fail to get the desired re-sponse, the commissioner would move the court and take legal recourse by filing a case as per the applicable sections.
“The Cabinet, however, during its October 16 meeting decided to delegate the power of suing media organisations to secretaries of the respective departments instead of being vested solely with the commissioner, I&PR. The process and procedure remain the same and the principal secretaries of all the departments will be following the same procedure and will take to legal recourse as a final step. The decision was taken as Secretaries are better placed in monitoring the news, picking up the distortions, giving rejoinders and taking it to the logical conclusion,” said a senior official of the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO).
The decision taken by the Cabinet was an extension of the existing practice and has only expanded the scope by roping in the concerned secretaries instead of the I&PR commissioner alone, the official added....