COOPERATIVE FEDERALISM, GOVERNANCE & INTER-GOVERNMENTAL COMMUNICATION – THE MEDIA WAY
The political party spokespersons have been mandated by the parties to become government spokesperson. They also interpret one odd press conference on topical issues of the day. National limelight falls on them every evening, defining every government move and add an intelligent and coherent narrative to it. They are the stars of Democracy 2.0, in the age of the digital media. Electronic media is not their only karmabhoomi, they seamlessly move to the data mode and reign the internet as well, with most of the channels being on the data mode and with electronic media clips becoming social media feed too. Some of them head the party social media blitzkrieg apparatus and become the last word on the content. Data manipulation is the name of the game. Over a period of time, they have become authority on the social media platforms as well.
No government is so deprived of talent to fall back on outside resources. The messing of facts and narrative would not take place if it comes from an official spokesperson. Can an organization function without an authorized signatory? The official spokesperson would be the authorized media signatory. The elected representatives relationship with the executive is not a hidden fact, it is not even called interference for the last few decades. This is much worse, the government being defended by the party spokesperson and him switching over roles or evading as per his convenience. It works fine both for the government and party. Zero accountability of official communication and that too with packaged rabble rousing.
It would give you a feel as if votes are being swayed everyday. No government official would be able to perform that superhuman trick, which they do on TV every evening. Picking up that crazy skill with no formal training in governance, media, law, public speaking et al is an extremely commendable job. Without interpersonal professional relationships and love & respect for the purpose and the process, how long and how well can cooperative federalism survive? It can neither be an armour nor a mechanical legal support structure. If the leaders can’t sort out their issues, then who will sort it out for them? The spokespersons. Can the country be run by press conferences and social media posts?
Cooperative federalism apart, governance is also being transacted over the media and in the social media way. Does governance need those crutches? The humongous governmental machinery which performs till the last mile and the last person can very well be governments brand ambassador by their fruitful work. Do they need journalists and social media strategists to create their worth and also full page and full screens ads? All inter-governmental communication happens through the media, even Chief Ministers / Union Ministers mostly talk through this medium. Have official channels lost it value or everybody powerful is convinced that it does not serve any purpose. Broken communication systems between the powers that be, forewarns of a broken country.
OFFICIAL COMMUNICATION PROPRIETY IS AT THE CORE OF A DIGNIFIED AND DELIVERABLE GOVERNANCE SYSTEM.