In a small room in north Delhi’s Civil Lines, four government employees with writing pads in their hands take note of stories running on TV channels. From 9am and 11pm, every news related to the Delhi government is being monitored and an hourly report is being sent to the Delhi Secretariat through email.
Due to lack of recording facility and proper training, government employees have no option but to take handwritten notes. “We work in two shifts — 9am and 4pm and 4pm and 11pm. We are asked to note down any news related to the Delhi government and email it to the Delhi Secretariat,” said an employee.
The constant monitoring has forced the employees to sit back in office till late night. The monitoring room is set up near the Delhi assembly at the office of Directorate of Information and Publicity.
As per a government official, like any other agency, they are monitoring the channels to check what kind of news is being aired. “We used to keep the newspaper clippings but nothing was done to keep record of news on TV channels. Currently, four television screens have been installed and staff is asked to write it down. We are in the process of hiring a private firm for the purpose,” said a senior government official.
Party members have social media groups where news related to party and government is updated.
After coming to power for the second time, the Delhi government had a confrontation with the media.
“The idea is to remain updated and have a documented proof of what news channels are showing. For instance, if there is positive news, we can keep the record to show it as achievement when we complete one year,” the official added.
The government has also decided to monitor the hoardings installed by it across the city and a team travels almost 200 km every day to check it. “The idea is to check whether the contractor has installed correct number of hoardings or not. A survey of hoardings of Delhi government is conducted every month,” the official said.