Kerala Govt hiring journos for PR

BY Rajeev P I| IN Regional Media | 25/09/2006
The idea is to use seasoned journalists to monitor, advise and feed the "bourgeois media" which often backed Achuthanandan in his fight with Vijayan.

Reprinted from the Indian Express, September 25, 2006

Rajeev P I


Worried about the efforts of its low-profile ministers under V S Achuthanandan¿s shadow being ignored or slammed by the local media, the Kerala CPM has now asked them, mostly greenhorns belonging to the Pinarayi Vijayan camp, to take the cue from the Brand Achuthanandan phenomenon and go for some real image building.

Party bosses in Thiruvananthapuram are sifting through a list of left-leaning journalists to be made officers in charge of media relations, on Government pay roll?one for each minister ? a first in the state¿s history. The prime catchment area for these brand managers is, of course, the party¿s mouthpiece Desabhimani, and its two major TV channels.

The idea is to use seasoned journalists to monitor, advise and feed the ?bourgeois media¿¿ which often backed Achuthanandan in his fight with Vijayan.

¿¿It is a considered decision of the party. The people have a right to know about the excellent work of our ministers, which the media is not properly projecting now. I have already appointed a senior Desabhimani journalist for myself. Others in our cabinet are now making their choices,¿¿ Industries minister Elamaram Kareem told The Indian Express.

CPM sources admit the inspiration for the move was VS himself, who managed a groundswell of support, enough to make the Politburo and state leadership to make a turnaround after denying him a ticket.

The Left front has given the go-ahead but the CPI is still not sure. ¿¿It is a good idea, but our party has yet to take a decision if we should do that. We need to think,¿¿ said Binoy Vishwam, CPI¿s Forest minister.

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