UNION MINISTER for Information and Broadcasting, Priyaranjan Dasmunshi, on Sunday pledged to remove discrimination between journalists working in cities and villages and announced to draw a roadmap in this connection shortly.
“My ministry has tried to better the lot of small newspapers in districts and rural areas and efforts are on to further improve this sector”, the minister said while addressing a conference organised by Poorvanchal Press Club in Varanasi on Sunday.
He said the advrtising share of 25 percent which used to go to small newspapers earlier, had been enhanced to 40 percent and this share would shoot up to 50 percent in the days to come.
Lauding the role of language newspapers in the country in disseminating information to people living in far flung areas, the minister said that contribution of district and rural journalists could never be overlooked.
Responding to the demands of Poorvanchal Press Club, the minister promised that their demands would be on top of his agenda during the upcoming conference of information ministers of states.
He said he himself was of the view that all benefits and facilities enjoyed by journalists in cities must be extended to journalists working in rural areas and district headquarters.
“I would also hold a conference in near future for journalists working in district headquarters and rural areas and seek their suggestions in this regard”, he added.
However, he said journalists could expand their base in rural areas to increase literacy in rural areas. “Rate of literacy has direct impact on media”, he added.
He cited instances of how mediamen working in rural areas had exposed irregularities in different sectors.
Local Member of Parliament Rajesh Mishra also spoke on the occasion. He highlighted the plight of journalists working in districts and rural areas.
Dasmunshi cautioned the media to be alert as in the era of competition, truth should not be allowed to become a casualty.