The outdated DGPR Balochistan criteria
An image grabbed from the official website of DGPR

Editorial:

Gone are the days when people used to anxiously wait for newspapers to get information in the morning. The day would dawn with hawkers riding their bicycles and dropping newspapers at every house and office.

In restaurants, offices and hotels jam-packed with tea lovers used to wait for their turn to get the newspaper and keep themselves updated about the unfolding political, social, crime and economic news about Balochistan and the country.

E-paper replacing the print version of newspapers

The journalists used to work till midnight to make sure publication of all news to compete in the newspapers industry. But this is no more the case. Now, the day dawns with WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and website clicks to get information. Pakistan’s well-circulated newspapers including Dawn, Express Tribune, The News and The Nation decreased the number of pages and focused on e-paper to meet the growing demand of readers.

Every person’s mobile is awash with WhatsApp messages as every group tries to keep and members updated about the unfolding situation. Newspapers are now confined to government offices and an aged class of society.

DGPR is yet to change the advertisement criteria

Everything changed. But the Director-General Public Relations (DGPR) Balochistan‘s criteria are yet to be changed in this changing scenario. The directorate still distributes official advertisements on the basis of pages of newspapers. Whether copypaste or just changing the title, a 12-pager newspaper is considered to be in the A category. 8 pager newspaper is in the B category, and the 4-pagers are in the C category.

Whether any newspaper has a website or not, if the pages are more that can get a better flow of advertisements. Quantity is checked and quality goes unnoticed. Whether any newspaper’s team works or not if the paper falls in the A category, it can get advertisements.

The advertisements budget should not go into a few narrow pockets

Since the advertisement budget belongs to the masses of Balochistan, therefore, there has to be judicious use of advertisement funds. These funds should not go into a few narrow pockets rather advertisement funds should be spent on the promotion of indigenous press so that it could highlight the issues relating to Balochistan.

The criteria of a functional website, and functional Twitter and Facebook accounts should be considered in the distribution of official advertisements. A policy in consultation with all stakeholders should be framed to meet the challenges of the modern era and readers.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.