Applauding the work done by journalists, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that the media should “counter pessimism and panic through positive communication” and also asked news channels to counter the spread of superstition through scientific reportage.
Modi on Monday interacted with representatives of some TV news groups, and said COVID-19 is a “lifetime challenge (that) needs to be tackled through new and innovative solutions”.
Modi said the global pandemic has to be tackled through “new and innovative solutions”. He said, “A long battle lies ahead of us, whereby awareness for social distancing has to be spread and information about latest developments and key decisions needs to be communicated swiftly and professionally by the channels through easy to grasp language.”
Interacting with stakeholders from channels through a video-conference to discuss the emerging challenges, Modi thanked the media for “understanding the gravity of the pandemic threat from day one” and appreciated the role played by the channels in spreading awareness”, according to a government statement.
Modi “commended the dedication and commitment of reporters, camerapersons and technicians working tirelessly in the field and in newsrooms across the country, calling their work a service to the nation”, the release stated.
He asked the channels to spread scientific reports, involve informed people in their discussions and counter the spread of misinformation. He underlined the importance of discipline from citizens and maintaining social distancing to counter the spread of the virus. He also said the media should spread more awareness about digital payment mechanisms to avoid spread of the virus through currency notes.
The government said in its statement that the media representatives suggested that a department of doctors should be available not only to check on reporters but also to help combat rumours.
Modi is likely to hold a similar interaction with leaders of the print media industry on Tuesday.
Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar, and senior officials of the I&B and health ministries also participated in the interaction.
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