Sunday, May 7, 2017

On the notification itself

image (not from article) from
The management of information and public diplomacy are critical aspects of modern governance. To that effect, the information service serves as an important tool of the state. Not the ruling party, mind you, but the state itself. The men and women employed by the state’s information apparatus – can, should and do – try to influence what goes into press. There’s nothing wrong with ensuring that there is maximum dissemination of information and best possible placement of pleas to the public for, say, how to best deal with malaria. But to think that this cadre can, in a democracy, ensure that a paper does not run a news item is wishful thinking. A bureaucrat asking a member of a free press not to publish a solid news item that the civil government doesn’t want published is not going to get a spirited opposition but bemused chuckles in response! Yes, even in Pakistan, where freedom of the press is compromised by western standards. ...

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