THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a move that could go a long way in curbing media freedom in Kerala, the state government has come out with circular imposing stringent restrictions on the media in covering press conferences, official programmes inside and outside the Secretariat, in addition to entry to the Public Relations Department (PRD).
The guidelines, which in effect put the State Information and Public Relations Department in-charge of communications between the government and the media, also impose restrictions on the media directly seeking responses from the chief minister, ministers and other prominent personalities at airport, railway stations and guest houses.
With the circular inviting severe criticisms from various corners, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has ordered to verify whether there are unnecessary restrictions imposed on the media.
As per the circular issued by Home Secretary Subrata Biswas, clearance from the PRD becomes essential for most press conferences, events or other meetings. Media coordination in guest houses, rest houses and hotels should be done through the PRD.