ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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End to News Management

End to News Management?
Nireekshak THE relationship between the Prime Minister and the Press lost its liveliness with the death of Nehru, whose monthly meetings with the journalists were stimulating and provocative and made excellent copy. Few liked to miss them and they had grown into an institution over the years. Nehru did not resent criticism; he took it in his stride except on rare occasions. Nehru did not have a Press Adviser, for he did not need one. After the Lal Bahadur Shastri interregnum (he did not have a Press Adviser either), news management and 'image-building' came to be perfected as part of the functioning of the Prime Minister's secretariat which was steadily growing into a super cabinet. Indira Candhi, who was information and broadcasting minister before being chosen Prime Minister, got herself a Press Adviser and also a deputy to assist him. On the day she was elected, she was; asked at her first press conference if she would revive her father's practice of meeting the Press every month. Perhaps more frequently than that, she had said. Those press conferences began well, but in a few months they began to pall because she had less and less to say. They became irregular, and infrequent, and were not held at all during the later two years of her reign.

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