TNI Bureau: The stringent rule made by Odisha Government’s I&PR Department, which probably wants to discourage the web media in the state further, has made things difficult for the small and struggling media houses.
The categorization in 4 groups, looks draconian and unfair, as English and Hindi portals rule the roost in top categories and mint more money although they hardly bother to post Odisha-specific news and information.
In total, 25 out of 40 empaneled web media houses in all 4 categories are national. Barring OTV, no Odisha web media found a place in Categories A and B. Other 14 Odisha-based media houses have been relegated to Category C and D.
Ironically, there are dozens of good and reliable web media houses that are completely dedicated to Odisha related news and information, but they have been snubbed by the current establishment.
Odisha web media houses and journalists always find themselves at the receiving end. The ruling government often take them for granted, but they lack unity and courage to raise their voice strongly, giving a long rope to the government.
Initially, the rules were quite flexible and many web media could get into the empaneled list. But, later the government tightened the noose and changed the criteria, leaving the small web media houses fighting for their survival.
It’s high time the government takes note of the plight of struggling web media houses, relax the norms & rules and allow them to get their dues, without any bias or discrimination. The ruling BJD should not underestimate the power of web media in the digital era.