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Wary of media, govt departments turning to PR agencies

Wary of media, govt departments turning to PR agencies
Highlights

For avoiding media interaction, various departments housed inside the Haj House are slowly leaning on PR agencies, which are trying their best to make readily available material for publishing or broadcasting.

Nampally: For avoiding media interaction, various departments housed inside the Haj House are slowly leaning on PR agencies, which are trying their best to make readily available material for publishing or broadcasting. It is being alleged that to avert any possibility of uncomfortable questions being raised by media personnel during press meets, the officials hit upon the idea of engaging PR agencies, it is said.

According to observers, this trend is more obvious in the recent days. They point out that no media person was invited to the RGI Airport for reception of the Hajis upon their return in the city. It is believed that after reports of Haj pilgrims deploring Haj committee's arrangements appeared in the press and photos and video of poor Haj arrangements during the pilgrimage in August in Saudi Arabia went viral on social media, even the Chairman of Haj Committee is believed to be avoiding the media.

Haj House has drawn strong criticism from activists and politicians over lack of provision of basic amenities to thousands of Hajis who appeared (in pictures and videos) to be accommodated in a cramped place without proper accommodation and bathrooms during their Haj pilgrimage. The latest trend is that PR firms have been engaged by TS Haj Committee, who forward information as desired.

Amongst departments, TS Wakf Board Chairman interacts with the media on some occasions, but newly appointed Chief Executive Officer has never had any kind of media interaction after taking to office. Even as the operations of the Wakf Board remained under question from different quarters, the officials have remained more tightly lipped. In the recent days, pictures of meetings are being shared, but the outcome of which is never known.

TS Minority Finance Corporation, TS Urdu Academy and TMREIS (Telangana Minority Residential Educational Institutional Society) – the latter is being shifted to Banjara Hills – have barely convened press conferences this year and remain out of bounds for media personnel. TSMFC has been under fire from voluntary groups for lack of budgetary funds from the State government for the much-hyped government schemes claiming to provide employment to thousands.

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