Ensure 'operational continuity' of print and electronic media: Centre tells States

Last Updated 25 March 2020, 07:50 IST

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held an interaction with the heads of a section media soliciting their support in the fight against novel coronavirus, the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) ministry on Tuesday asked all the State governments to ensure “uninterrupted” functioning of media and journalists.

I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar, meanwhile, categorically rejected any possibility of Covid-19 infection with the newspapers, urging the people not to pay any heed to “such rumours”.

“Do not believe in the rumors. You will not get infected by reading newspapers. There is just one rule to follow—wash your hands after doing any work,” he tweeted.

In an advisory to chief secretaries of the States, the ministry has stressed that robust and essential information dissemination networks including printing press and distribution infrastructure of the newspapers and magazines, news agencies, TV channels, cable operators, FM radios are of utmost importance to ensure timely and authentic information dissemination.

"Ensure operational continuity of print and electronic media," the ministry asked the chief secretaries in its advisory.

The proper functioning of these networks is required not only to create awareness among people and to give “important messages” but also to keep the nation updated with “the latest status.”

“At this critical juncture, ensuring uninterrupted operation of information networks and their outreach is of vital importance,” the ministry said, urging the State governments to facilitate “operational convenience” to the newspapers, news agencies, TV channels and other essential information dissemination networks.

The ministry urged the State governments to ensure that journalists and the “accredited staff” of print and electronic media should be exempted from any restrictions being imposed on the people’s movement.

The Prime Minister, meanwhile, held an interaction with a group of print media journalists through video conference.

The journalists joined the interaction from fourteen locations and consisted of both the national and regional media, representing eleven different languages, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement.

“Prime Minister asked the media to act as a link between the government and people and provide continuous feedback, at both national and regional level,” it added.

(Published 24 March 2020, 19:53 IST)

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