The GoM includes Cabinet ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Smriti Irani, Prakash Javadekar, S Jaishankar, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, and Union ministers Kiren Rijiju, Hardeep Singh Puri, Anurag Thakur and Babul Supriyo.(Mohd Zakir/HT file photo)
The GoM includes Cabinet ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Smriti Irani, Prakash Javadekar, S Jaishankar, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, and Union ministers Kiren Rijiju, Hardeep Singh Puri, Anurag Thakur and Babul Supriyo.(Mohd Zakir/HT file photo)

GoM lays out plan for govt’s media outreach

The recommendations, part of a report accessed by HT, were made after extensive sittings by the GoM to discuss “Government Communication” and include evolving a multipronged strategy to amplify messages through media engagement, outreach programmes at the level of states and districts, and working with influencers.
By Anisha Dutta | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 08, 2020 01:58 PM IST

The Union government is working on a new strategy to overhaul its media and public outreach, with a group of ministers (GoM) comprising nine Union ministers recommending a focus on 10 key areas as well as detailing ways in which criticism can be addressed and positive messaging can be spread wider.

The recommendations, part of a report accessed by HT, were made after extensive sittings by the GoM to discuss “Government Communication” and include evolving a multipronged strategy to amplify messages through media engagement, outreach programmes at the level of states and districts, and working with influencers.

The suggestions also include developing Prasar Bharati News Service as a key news agency of the country and developing DD International along the lines of “best international public broadcasters”.

“The deliberations of the GoM focused on evolving multipronged strategy to take these 10 big narratives to the people by various means including direct connect by elected representatives and state and district level representatives, engaging with media houses and academia at national and international level, utilising all types of media, feeding them with positive stories and testimonials, developing institutional mechanisms for structured engagements, developing DD International on lines of best international public broadcasters and strengthening a resource pool of domain experts,” the report said.

Two officials aware of the discussions confirmed the deliberations, while asking not to be named.

“The GoM was formed to streamline communication strategy a few months ago. We felt that there was a need to assess how we could reach out in a more effective manner. Various ministers were part of it to remove gaps in government communication. During Covid, small media outlets found it difficult to collect information and get videos. We figured out we needed to share videos [too],” said one of these people.

“This process has been underway for some time now,” the second official added.

The group has met six times since June 14 and its recommendations will now be sent to the Cabinet secretariat.

The 10 core narratives include projecting India’s soft power, the country’s standing in the international community and marquee government initiatives such as Aatmanirbhar Bharat and Digital India.

10 key areas identified

India @ 75 (2022) and Republic @75 (2025) celebrations

$5 trillion economy plans

Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiatives

Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas initiative

Digital India efforts

Swachh Bharat, Swasth Bharat

Naari Shakti programmes

Skill India initiative

Sustainable development focus

Projecting India’s soft power globally

The recommendations also appeared to focus on social media discourse, saying there is a need to constantly track “negative influencers”, and to engage with “positive influencers” to put the “government’s view point in the right perspective.”

The GoM also proposed to identify journalists who have lost their jobs recently who are “supportive of the government or are neutral”, so that their services could be utilised by various ministries.

The GoM includes Cabinet ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Smriti Irani, Prakash Javadekar, S Jaishankar, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, and Union ministers Kiren Rijiju, Hardeep Singh Puri, Anurag Thakur and Babul Supriyo.

The group has made its first presentation to the Prime Minister, who guided the GoM with his insights and gave vital inputs, the report noted.

A group of secretaries has also been formed to monitor each of the key areas mentioned under the 10 core narratives.

The recommendations also spoke of previous efforts to ensure digital media reporting “is not biased”.

“Steps have been taken to ensure that the news reporting on digital media is not biased primarily due to its foreign investment component. It has been decided to cap the foreign investment to 26% and the process to implement the same is under way,” the report said.

During discussions, which was also included in the report, concerns were raised over foreign media coverage with one member suggesting there be curbs on interacting with foreign journalists.

The report concluded that international outreach is an important component in putting government’s stand properly in an international forum and opted for the opposite. “Regular interaction with foreign media journalists would help disseminate correct information and perspective of the government, especially on sensitive issues,” it added.

The report added that there should be local level outreach, for which volunteers of National Service Scheme (NSS), National Cadet Corps, National Youth Corps (NYK) and party leaders be involved.

The GoM suggested that every ministry should identify two major public outreach programs in a year along with one day of pre-event publicity and one day of post-event coverage.

“This way, for around 300 days in a year, there will be coverage of one or the other government program,” the report said.

The GoM recommendations also called for a new communication wing and to establish a strong ‘Fact Check Unit’ to more effectively use the social media for targeted communication. The group has also suggested a research unit to collate all information in proper format for easy and timely retrieval.

“Based on the agreed/approved action points, the timelines for each one will be drawn and then these will be implemented. A review and monitoring mechanism also needs to be put in place. Either the same GoM can be entrusted with the responsibility to review and monitor the progress on a quarterly basis or a separate mechanism in the cabinet secretariat can be established,” it added.

The ministry of information and broadcasting has sought inputs from the group of secretaries on the action plan to implement the above recommendations. A communication regarding this was sent on Thursday. HT has reviewed a copy.

“There is nothing wrong in the government planning better media outreach. Any entity whether public or private is entitled to do so. However it is a little disconcerting that people might get influenced to be more pro-government to gain favours now that they know they will be tracked,” said Pradyuman Maheshwari, editor-in-chief and founder of MxMIndia, a media and advertising analytics firm.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Union agricultural minister Narendra Singh Tomar at an event in New Delhi last month.(PTI File Photo)
Union agricultural minister Narendra Singh Tomar at an event in New Delhi last month.(PTI File Photo)

Govt ready to amend farm laws, says Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 08:06 AM IST
Tomar said the three laws passed by Parliament in September last year will help farmers fetch more prices in the market.
Close
Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait attends a 'Kisan Mahapanchayat', in Saharanpur district on Sunday.(PTI Photo)
Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait attends a 'Kisan Mahapanchayat', in Saharanpur district on Sunday.(PTI Photo)

1 village, 1 tractor, 15 men and 10 days: Tikait's formula for farmers' protest

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 07:03 AM IST
The farmers have been sitting at various borders near national capital Delhi since November 26 with the demand that the three central farm laws must be repealed.
Close
A medical staff member prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Tudor Ranch in California.(AP)
A medical staff member prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Tudor Ranch in California.(AP)

Covid-19 LIVE: Hundreds of people protest against face mask rules in US state

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 07:01 AM IST
  • In India, the cases reached 11.19 million and the death toll stands at 157,656. The country has inoculated more than 20 million in the ongoing vaccination drive.
"Is there any estimate of how much gold has been smuggled since he (V Muraleedharan) became a minister?” Pinarayi Vijayan asked.(HT File Photo)
"Is there any estimate of how much gold has been smuggled since he (V Muraleedharan) became a minister?” Pinarayi Vijayan asked.(HT File Photo)

Kerala CM slams union minister amid calls for resignation over smuggling case

PTI, Thiruvananthapuram
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 01:29 AM IST
Vijayan claimed that Muraleedharan, on multiple occasions, said the baggage seized by the Customs was not a diplomatic one.
Close
Marimuthu Yoganathan is a bus conductor in the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation by profession.(Tweeted by ANI)
Marimuthu Yoganathan is a bus conductor in the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation by profession.(Tweeted by ANI)

Tamil Nadu bus conductor who planted 3 lakh saplings in 30 years wins praise

ANI, Chennai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 01:23 AM IST
A known eco activist, Marimuthu Yoganathan has been awarded "Eco Warrior" award by Vice-President of India, 'Unsung Hero' award by wildlife film-maker Mike Pandey and film actor John Abraham in "Timberland" function held in Delhi.
Close
Elections to the 126 assembly constituencies in Assam will be held in three phases. In picture - Congress Party supporters in a rally in Tezpur.(PTI)
Elections to the 126 assembly constituencies in Assam will be held in three phases. In picture - Congress Party supporters in a rally in Tezpur.(PTI)

Congress releases first list for Assam after ‘rumblings’ in unit

By Utpal Parashar, Guwahati
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 01:13 AM IST
Congress’ state unit chief Ripun Bora to contest from Gohpur constituency.
Close
Trivedi is the latest in the list of TMC leaders, including political heavyweight and minister Suvendu Adhikari and state minister Rajib Banerjee, who switched over to the BJP.(HT Photo)
Trivedi is the latest in the list of TMC leaders, including political heavyweight and minister Suvendu Adhikari and state minister Rajib Banerjee, who switched over to the BJP.(HT Photo)

‘Golden moment’: TMC ex-MP Trivedi joins BJP

By Smriti Kak Ramachandran, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 12:59 AM IST
Describing his entry into the BJP as a “golden moment”, the 70-year-old took a veiled dig at his former party.
Close
After the Chamoli tragedy, the state government has announced many steps with regard to disaster mitigation in the state. In picture - Border Roads Organisation (BRO) building a valley bridge over the Rishi Ganga River.(PTI)
After the Chamoli tragedy, the state government has announced many steps with regard to disaster mitigation in the state. In picture - Border Roads Organisation (BRO) building a valley bridge over the Rishi Ganga River.(PTI)

A month on, questions remain over cause of Chamoli disaster

By Neeraj Santoshi, Dehradun
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 12:52 AM IST
While several studies say that the tragedy was man-made, a DRDO body rejected human activity as the immediate cause
Close
The court of chief judicial magistrate AN Dave acquitted 122 persons arrested for being members of the banned outfit SIMI, giving them the benefit of doubt.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The court of chief judicial magistrate AN Dave acquitted 122 persons arrested for being members of the banned outfit SIMI, giving them the benefit of doubt.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

20 years on, court acquits 122 people accused of SIMI links

PTI, Surat
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 05:42 AM IST
The accused were held in 2001 under UAPA for allegedly being SIMI members and organising a meeting.
Close
The finance department has written that as per rules, the withdrawal from treasury has to be done only up to the extent required for direct payment to vendor/contractor/payee in their respective bank accounts and under no circumstances the money should go the bank accounts of subordinate officials. (REUTERS PHOTO).
The finance department has written that as per rules, the withdrawal from treasury has to be done only up to the extent required for direct payment to vendor/contractor/payee in their respective bank accounts and under no circumstances the money should go the bank accounts of subordinate officials. (REUTERS PHOTO).

Bihar finance dept sounds alert against attempts of irregular fund withdrawal

PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 12:18 AM IST
  • The finance department has written to the top brass of various departments, offices and administration to ensure strict compliance to the finance and treasury rules for maintaining fiscal discipline.
Close
Dharmendra Pradhan, who recently donated <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>1 lakh to the Jagannath Temple, requested the Gajapati to act like a bridge between the Centre and state for smooth operation of the fund collection drive. (HT FILE PHOTO).
Dharmendra Pradhan, who recently donated 1 lakh to the Jagannath Temple, requested the Gajapati to act like a bridge between the Centre and state for smooth operation of the fund collection drive. (HT FILE PHOTO).

Union minister proposes collection drive for beautification of Jagannath Temple

By Debabrata Mohanty
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 11:59 PM IST
  • In a letter to Puri king Gajapati Dibya Singha Deb, Union minister for petroleum and natural gas, Dharmendra Pradhan urged him to launch a mass fund collection drive to enable contribution by crores of devotees of Lord Jagannath for the development of the Jagannath Temple heritage corridor.
Close
In the second phase of the vaccination drive, 3,005,039 people over 60 years of age and 460,782 between 45 and 59 years with comorbidities have received their first dose of the vaccine.(Reuters)
In the second phase of the vaccination drive, 3,005,039 people over 60 years of age and 460,782 between 45 and 59 years with comorbidities have received their first dose of the vaccine.(Reuters)

Cumulative Covid-19 vaccinations cross 20-million mark: Government

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Srivatsan K C, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 11:35 PM IST
India has administered 20,662,073 doses of the vaccine so far of which 6,972,859 healthcare workers have received the first dose and 3,522,671 have got the second dose.
Close
Anurag Thakur said the government welcomes innovation and new technology, but with caution, so that citizens get due protection and national security is ensured.(ANI)
Anurag Thakur said the government welcomes innovation and new technology, but with caution, so that citizens get due protection and national security is ensured.(ANI)

Issue of national security key as govt decides on cryptocurrency, says Thakur

By Rajeev Jayaswal, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 05:36 AM IST
  • Cryptocurrency is, however, not legally banned and the government is in the process of enacting a law on this matter.
Close
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits a stall at an exhibition during the Combined Commanders Conference in Kevadia on Saturday. (ANI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits a stall at an exhibition during the Combined Commanders Conference in Kevadia on Saturday. (ANI)

Need to develop military into ‘future force’: PM Modi at top commanders’ meet

UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 11:17 PM IST
  • The PM asked the three services to rid themselves of legacy systems and practices that are no longer relevant.
Close
The desk would provide support to file cases in offences related to violence or discrimination.(PTI File Photo )
The desk would provide support to file cases in offences related to violence or discrimination.(PTI File Photo )

Transgender help desk set up at police station in Hyderabad

PTI, Hyderabad
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 11:09 PM IST
Noting that the idea of the help desk came from the community itself during a meeting 10 days back, police said the entire credit for the initiative must go to the community.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP