Popularly called the ‘Fourth Pillar of Democracy’, the media has made itself indispensable to the functioning of our nation, owing to its mammoth reach and influence. While the Fourth Pillar of Democracy thrives, it is important not to overlook the problems that may plague it at one point or the other. Addressing these problems requires some prudence and concern about the freedom and efficient functioning of the media at large. A welcome development in this direction is the launch of the nation’s first Media Helpline number for journalists and media persons across the state of Uttar Pradesh this January.
The media helpline number (1880) made operational last year, and will be instrumental in giving a channel to the complaints of and the problems faced by media persons. The helpline will be managed by the State Information and Public Relations Department, and the call centre will provide assistance to individuals working with the media.
The helpline enables people from the press to file grievances online and expect redressal within 72hours. The helpline ensures solutions to urgent complaints within 24 hours. The helpline is aided by multiple hunting lines so that multiple calls can be connected at once. The helpline works to facilitate single spot monitoring of issues related to journalists’ security, protection of their interests and resources.
The idea behind this initiative is strengthening the media’s presence in the state. Such a helpline will go a long way in ensuring that the ideals and principles of the media are upheld in our society. This step, launched by the Akhilesh Yadav led Government, is an important first step in ensuring an efficient media.
Hopefully, other states will emulate this step to provide quick solutions and support for the problems faced by media personnel.