Government to set up media wing to lead digital diplomacy

Published March 17, 2020
The 23-member team will work to promote govt initiatives online, manage content for ministries. — Aurora/File
The 23-member team will work to promote govt initiatives online, manage content for ministries. — Aurora/File

KARACHI: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government has decided to set up a 23-member media team to devise and lead strategy around digital diplomacy, Dawn has learned.

According to prime minister’s focal person on digital media Dr Arslan Khalid, the cabinet had three weeks ago approved the allocation of a supplementary grant of Rs42.791 million during the current financial year for creation of a digital media wing at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Media reports on Monday suggested that the digital media wing would be responsible for defending over social media any decision made by the government while also dealing with critics of the ruling PTI and explaining policies of the Imran Khan-led administration.

Refuting the claims, the PM’s focal person said the reports were misleading and the digital media wing had a broader mandate. “The wing, apart from promoting the government’s initiatives, will work on social media diplomacy, debunking fake news and optimisation of the digital media strategies, including advertising for campaigns,” Mr Khalid told Dawn.

The government, he added, had also chalked out a social media policy for its departments. The team will ensure that the policy is fully implemented.

In terms of breakdown, the 23-member digital media wing will comprise a general manager, a digital media consultant, five digital communication officers, three video editors, two videographers, one photographer, four graphic designers, five content writers and one digital feed manager.

The general manager, according to the job description document available with Dawn, will work at the Press Information Department and will be responsible for implementation of the digital media strategy for all government departments working under the PID.

Besides managing content from all ministries, the strategy will involve plans to structure and build digital advertising, as well as verification of social media accounts of the government.

The digital consultant, on the other hand, will be responsible for liaising with PTV and digital desk of media houses to ensure coverage of government events and announcements.

The five digital communication officers will work in the ministries of finance, poverty alleviation and health, information, foreign and interior. The communication officer working in the foreign ministry will also be tasked with promoting tourism.

The PM’s focal person said recruitment would be public and an ad would be placed this week.

Published in Dawn, March 17th, 2020

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