A meeting of the State News Media Accreditation Committee (SNMAC) was convened here today under the chairmanship of Director Information and Public Relations, Mr Muneer-ul-Islam.The meeting besides reviewing the existing Accreditations, deliberated upon and considered fresh applications from the media-persons for grant of Accreditation for the year 2018-19. The Committee made appropriate recommendations on the merits of each application in light of the guidelines laid down in State News Media Accreditation Policy-2017.262 cases of existing Accredited media-persons, 28 cases for change of News Media Organization and 172 fresh cases for Accreditation were placed before the Committee in today’s meeting for appropriate action.The meeting was attended by the Members of SNMAC, Ashwani Kumar, President Press Club, Jammu; Mohammad Saleem Pandit, President, Press Club Kashmir; Bashir Manzar, Editor, Kashmir Images; Manish Gupta, Resident Editor, Early Times;Vivek Sharma, Senior Correspondent, The State Times; Pradeep Dutta, Bureau Chief, Times Now; Tariq Ahmad Lone, Video-Journalist, AajTak, Mr Farooq Javaid Khan, Photojournalist, Rising Kashmir; Rajnesh Bakshi, Video Journalist, IBN-7 and Channi Anand, Photojournalist, AP. Mr Sheikh Zahoor, Deputy Director Information (PR) Headquarters, who is the Member Secretary of the SNMAC also attended the meeting.The Members gave their valuable suggestions on how to further fine-tune the Accreditation mechanism for the media-persons to bring it in tune with the fast-changing media scenario in the State.Giving details of the decisions taken in the meeting, Director Information, Muneer-ul-Islam said that it was unanimously decided that the Presidents of Press Club Jammu/Kashmir and one representative from the Regional News Units of Doordarshan/Radio in J&K, on rotational basis, will be co-opted as permanent members of the SNMAC.
The meeting also approved increase in the quota of the Accreditations to be given to the representatives of the Regional News Units of Doordarshan and Radio in the State.The Director Information said it was decided in the meeting that Accreditation of the Representatives of Online News Portals will be considered once the operational guidelines for such News Portals are notified by the Government. He said the Department of Information has already submitted a proposal to the Government in this regard.The meeting decided that such journalists whose name appears in the imprint line of a publication won’t be entitled to Accreditation as this facility is for working journalists only to facilitate their physical access to the sources of news.The Director Information said that in another decision SNMAC resolved that only such working journalists including Photojournalists, Video-journalists and Cartoonists will be given Accreditation who are on the permanent payrolls of a news media organization and they will have to provide the documentary evidence to the Committee including Appointment Letter, Employee Code, Salary Statement or Job Contract Agreement in this regard.It was also decided in the meeting that the credentials and credibility of a news media representative should be also taken into consideration while deciding about his/her Accreditation.He said the Committee also decided that in case the Accreditation quota of a News Media Organization exceeds the limit prescribed in the State News Media Accreditation Policy-2017, the Editor of the concerned News Media Organization would be asked to provide a preferential list of its News Media Representatives for Accreditation within its quota.The meeting also discussed various issues pertaining to better coordination between various Government agencies and the media to ensure effective dissemination of information and media coverage.Pertinently, the last meeting of the State Press Accreditation Committee was convened in 2015.