Up and About: Grouse over keeping media at dark


Wanting to be in the loop to get REAL TIME UPDATES

Officials at the Collectorate and in the police department who were often pulled up by higher officials for delay in passing on information were seen trying hard to get into the WhatsApp group of journalists.

There are at least half-a-dozen WhatsApp groups of reporters in Coimbatore, where the social networking facility is used by journalists, lensmen and electronic media crew to share information.

When the officials at the lower level and sleuths in various intelligence wings of the police wanted to get into WhatsApp groups of media persons, a section of the media persons were firm on not to include non-media professionals into the group because of the restrictions on the number of persons in a group.

Finally, a section of government staff who made the unsuccessful bid wound up with a plea to their friends in the media to pass on the posts as quickly as possible.

When group of micro unit owners met the Industries Minister, who was in city recently, it was an opportunity for the entrepreneurs to not just present their grievance but also listen to words of encouragement from the Minister. 

The Minister invited them to participate in the meeting that he was to address and the unit owners told him that it was for larger industry owners.

The Minister immediately pointed out to them that all industries were started in a small-scale and were developed gradually with hard work. Hence, there was nothing wrong for the micro unit owners to take part in such meetings. 

A senior government official was glued to television and also his mobile when this reporter called on him.

After exchange of pleasantries, he wanted to know how often newspapers update the web edition.

After a brief explanation, the officer said he was compelled to keep tab of the media as his seniors in Chennai, by watching news and reading updates, called him every now and then to know what was happening in Coimbatore and what his office had done to address the problem.

He also said that his seniors were interested in news and tech-savvy and that kept him on his toes.

One of the major grievances journalists almost always have against Government officials is that they are not accessible or fail to answer questions. Certain officials fail to return calls more often than not, thereby infuriating reporters to no end. Of late, such complaints have surfaced a lot against some officials of the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR).

With the annual elephant rejuvenation camp being held at the location, journalists are left at a loss to get information with the ATR officials neither answering nor returning the phone calls.

Matters came to such a head that a group of reporters based in Pollachi went en masse to the office of a senior ATR official to lodge a protest.

Dressed in white shirt and dhoti, Ministers and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam representatives stole the limelight at the inaugural of the annual rejuvenation camp for temple elephants at Mettupalayam.

Lensmen who focused taking pictures of these men failed to identify a gentleman in a brown shirt R. Kannan, Additional Chief Secretary, who (was) kept away from the dignitaries.

The disappointed senior IAS officer then found remaining alone not taking part in any of the associated activities.

Later, he expressed his disappointment to another official.

(Reporting by V.S. Palaniappan, M. Soundariya Preetha, Karthik Madhavan, R. Sairam and M.K. Ananth)

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 9:44:19 AM |

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