The Information & Public Relations Department, the nodal department of the State Government – the interface between the government and the media- plays a pivotal role in keeping the general public abreast of day to day events, activities, policies, programmes, initiatives and achievements of the State Government. It is also responsible for formulating a media policy for the state and ensures correct dissemination of information.
Over the last two decades, the State Government has created an environment where in the press can enjoy all the freedom and independence essential for its healthy growth. It has made efforts to ensure that the Fourth Estate functions with independence and the people can enjoy the freedom of speech and expression.
This conducive environment for healthy journalism has resulted in the sudden increase in the print and electronic media in Sikkim. The publication of standard papers in the last two decades also indicates the level of Freedom of Press in Sikkim.
The intellectual and spiritual sensitivity of the people of Sikkim has increased. The government has always encouraged the development of journalism, press and media in the state. For this, many facilities and benefits have been provided to encourage development of media which is vibrant and caters to the needs of the people of Sikkim.
The Department of IPR has been facilitating the growth and development of media through various initiatives for the benefit of journalists in the state. The department instituted the Positive Journalism Grant in the year 2005-06 to acknowledge the contribution made by journalists and an annual grant is also provided to the Press Club of Sikkim for its development. In order to help in the modernization of press and other media in Sikkim, the department also distributed laptops, computers, cameras and printers to them. In addition to these, there are many other programmes and benefits provided by the Department of IPR for the benefit of journalists in the state. The department also empowers the people of the state by facilitating free flow of government information through its many publications and programmes, advertising and exhibitions, thus embracing people’s participation in the process of socio economic development.
The Department of Information and Public Relations comprises the following sections: Advertisement Section, Film Section, Photo Section, Media Section and Publications Section, besides, the usual Administrative Section and Accounts Section. The role of each of the section is important in the functioning of the entire department. The Media section collects information from all the District Information Centers located in all the four districts, where respective District Information Officers aided by Senior Information Assistants (SIAs) and Junior Information Assistants (JIAs) are stationed who disseminate information through different modes of communications, such as press releases, press notes, feature articles, press conferences, etc.
The department through its Film and Photo section also arranges for video and film coverage of State government activities. Both press releases and photos reach all dailies and periodicals and correspondents of the important outstation newspapers over e-mail on daily basis. While, the Advertisement Section issues advertisements to local and national papers and magazines highlighting the accomplishments in different fields, the Publication Section publishes books and magazines on achievements, programmes, initiatives of the State Government.