New Delhi: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is considering appointing a full-fledged Media Advisor for the first time under Modi’s leadership. Through a variety of audio, visual, and print media, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has been seeking to obtain proper mileage for the government’s image, it was felt that it needs to be given a more professional outlook under the supervision of a seasoned and experienced journalist.
According to reliable sources, the search for the right person for the post has begun. This time, though, the task will not be assigned to a well-known media figure. Rather, a man with extensive knowledge of the media world and its complexities, who has worked professionally at all levels of government from Panchayat to parliament, is well-versed in governance processes, and has substantial experience in print and broadcast journalism while maintaining a low profile, is being sought. He also has a wide range of relationships in the media, from a stringer in a far-flung Panchayat to an Editor in the country’s capital or major cities.
According to reports, the PMO is searching for a journalist who is unassuming, yet perky, demure yet skittish, reticent yet eloquent, who speaks both Hindi and English. Most significantly, he should have a high level of discretion.
Aside from print media, the journalist should have extensive expertise in broadcast media, particularly radio, which the PMO believes reaches people in even the most rural locations. This source of last-mile contact with audiences can be fully utilized via judicious use of radio programs to communicate the government’s message to the public. The growing popularity of PM’s Mann Ki Baat monthly program, aired on All India Radio is a testimony to this fact.
From Narendra Modi to Brand Modi has been a successful transition during the last seven years. But that has not been enough to propel the policies of the Modi Government among the masses so effectively.
The reasons for the communication gap between the government and the people are too many. The junked government machinery involved in information dissemination is still working on old tracks and has repeatedly failed to provide authentic and correct information to even Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Home Minster Amit Shah has experienced such irresponsible media exercise by the information officers of the government.
No wonder such irresponsible acts of the officials have earned the ire of such ministers in the recent past, including their abrupt transfer of lesser important units of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
When Modi became PM, he brought Jagdish Thakkar from Gujarat as Press Secretary. He died in 2018. Thakkar’s role was very limited in the PMO, but Modi relied on him for specific media-related work. After his death, the PMO did not appoint someone to the post.
So, there is no official Media Advisor to PM Modi currently. After Sanjay Baru Media’s advisor to ex-PM Manmohan, this seems to be a dicey idea. However, the PM, Modi has a team that has contributed to the brand Modi.