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Media Advisor or Official Spokesman?

Media Advisor or Official Spokesman?

Ever since senior journalist Devulapalli Amar took over as the advisor to Andhra Pradesh government on national media and inter-state affairs, there has been no clarity as to what his role is.

As a national media advisor, Amar is expected to advise chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy from time to time on issues that needed to be highlighted in the national media.

He is also expected to coordinate with the national media to see that they carry reports on the good work done by the Jagan government.

At the same time, as an advisor to the government on inter-state affairs, Amar is supposed to advise the chief minister on the issues that might crop up between Andhra Pradesh and other states and suggest solutions for the same.

There is a clear distinction between the media advisors and the public relations officers.

In the past, too, when Parakala Prabhakar was the media advisor to former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, he never used to deal with the media directly. So is K V Ramana Chary, who is the media advisor to Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.

But Amar has now started acting like an official spokesperson of the government.

Nearly two months after taking charge, Amar addressed a press conference on the subject which is embarrassing to him: the controversial government order that seeks to file defamation cases against media houses which publish negative stories against the government without concrete evidences.

Being in the government post, he had to defend the government, though the organisation which he represented till recently – Andhra Pradesh Union of Working Journalists (APUWJ) has been fighting against the same order.

Even the Press Council of India, of which he was a member till a couple of months ago, took serious note of the government order.

On Saturday, Amar issued a lengthy press statement on the ongoing controversy over “sand crisis.”

In fact, it was more or less like a political statement – attacking the opposition parties for making an issue out of sand shortage and defending the Jagan government’s steps to overcome the crisis.

In fact, there is nothing new in the statement, as the chief minister himself and his cabinet colleagues have already issued clarifications on sand shortage and accused the opposition parties of maligning the government. So, what is new that Amar wanted to convey?

It clearly shows there is no clarity as to what the national media advisor is expected to do. Since he has to do something to make his presence felt, he appears to be issuing press statements!

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Tags: Amar K Ramachandra Murthy Media advisor Official Spokesman