NEW DELHI: With the country under lockdown to rein in the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the ministry of information and broadcasting on Tuesday directed chief secretaries of all states and Union Territories to ensure uninterrupted supply of all print and electronic media.
The order, which comes in the backdrop of misinformation and fears over newspapers being carriers of infections, emphasises the need for “robust and essential information” networks to disseminate “timely and aut hentic information”. It says, “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 of the latest status. False and fake news need to be avoided and good practices need to be promoted and these networks play a pivotal role in ensuring the same.”
To ensure the “uninterrupted operation” of these networks at “this critical juncture”, the government order lists “printing presses and distribution infrastructure of newspapers and magazines”, news agencies and TV channels among “critical infrastructure”.
The order asks states and UTs to facilitate the “operational convenience” of media by permitting them and their intermediaries to keep functioning, and to allow the movement of accredited staff and their vehicles, as well as ensure “uninterrupted electric supply and other logistics as requested”. And in any case any problem is faced by the media in providing uninterrupted service, they should “coordinate with the local authorities”.
Ensure smooth ops of print, electronic media to check fake news: Centre to states