Free Press Journal

MHA bars journos from meeting senior officers other than spokesperson


New Delhi: The Union Home Ministry today barred journalists from meeting senior officials other than the spokesperson and came out with a set of guidelines on dissemination of information to the media. In the order, the Home Ministry said that the Additional Director General (Media) will be the single point for dissemination of all publicity material to the media including clarifications sought by journalists.

“The ADG (Media) will obtain approval of the Home Secretary, wherever required, for release of information to the media,” the order issued by the Ministry Joint Secretary Satpal Chouhan said.

Sources said that with the order, the practice of journalists meeting senior officers of the Home Ministry in their chambers virtually comes to an end. “The information flow to mediapersons will be arranged in media room no. 9, North Block. Mediapersons will be told by ADG (Media) that they do not have briefing/meeting with officers other than in the media room,” the order said.

M A Ganapathy, Joint Secretary (Internal Security), being the official spokesperson of the Ministry, will brief the media on a need-to-do basis, it said. The order angered journalists covering the Home Ministry and they protested saying that they have been getting access to senior officers on appointments and it was nothing but a “gag order”.