Twitter FB no substitute for mainstream media for PM
This is where mainstream media comes into play. Inspite of huge reach of social media sites, far greater number of people still depend on print media and TV channels for their news inputs. What with the sensationalising talking heads speaking recklessly on the TV talk shows, people tend to believe what is printed or uttered on the TV screen. The media has to be used wisely and carefully. Shunning the media is no satisfactory response for managing a generally antagonistic media. That requires a media savvy advisor on whom the PM and the government can rely on. Such a person is able to correct the perception of media about what is happening or not happening in the government.
Recently, we have heard good deal of rumors about many respectable people in the Government. The fact that PM's office denied the rumor about Rajnath Singhji gives more grist to the rumor mill. The rumor about his son being ticked off by the PM has done incalculable damage to the esteem of Rajnath Singhji in the public eye. It has made an upright man look small. We also read in the media of minister who was told to change from jeans to traditional dress while traveling abroad, another minister who was stopped from visiting his daughter abroad, or yet another minister who was asked to leave from the breakfast or dinner meeting with an industrialist.
If the government does not dispense news about what it is doing, or correct the public perception about what it is not doing, rumors fly thick and fast. 140 characters of Twitter is no substitute for proper media briefing. Rumors have a way of damaging people in power, who are not as free as someone in opposition to say what he likes or condemn the antagonists in harsh language.
How these rumors start and spread is anybody's guess. But, there is strong suspicion that such rumors start within the government machinery or the ruling party. Therefore, I think, it is high time that the PM uses media professionals to advise him on media management, so that rumor mills are stopped. Otherwise, this kind of fire fighting will sap the energy of government. more