A mistaken idea prevails among government officers to the effect hat newspapers, which enjoy popularity among the people, make a point of finding fault with their proceedings. The practice among the editors of making unfavorable comments on the conduct of officers is due to the fact that the latter give a wide berth to the former. If the authorities took the members of the fourth estate into their confidence, they would receive great help from the press. It would see that the District Magistrate of Malabar in the Madras Presidency pursue such a policy. When a local paper makes any serious complaint, he privately sends for the editor and asks him to help him in getting the truth. If an editor is found to have given publicity to any false rumours, he reminds him to be more careful at the truth. Such a policy, which is evidently beneficial both to government and the public, should be followed by other district officers and the higher authorities. If the editors had free access to district officers, they would privately bring the misconduct of subordinate officials to the notice of the latter, without exposing them to their newspapers. At the events, when an editor makes a complaint in his newspaper, he should be required to substantiate it, If he is able to do so, he should be praised; if not, he should be openly rebuked, and required to contradict his statement. This would be a sufficient warning to all editors against indulging in false complaints. At present, the authorities neither praise well informed papers nor rebuke others which spread false rumours and, therefore, the editors do not know what government approves and what it disapproves. So far praise has generally been bestowed in official reports only on those papers which are owned by influential persons, or are subservient or harmless, i.e., refrain from discussing politics…


Jumi-ul-ulum. October 1900

Government & Press 

SARCAJC

SOUTH ASIAN RESEARCH CENTRE FOR ADVERTISEMENT, JOURNALISM & CARTOONS

You can add HTML directly into this element to render on the page.

Just edit this element to add your own HTML.