Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday interacted with over twenty journalists and stakeholders from print media via video conference and said the media has played a praiseworthy role in disseminating information to every nook and cranny of the country.
Modi acknowledged the network and reach of the print medium and said its pan-India reach makes it all the more significant in fighting the coronavirus pandemic and in disseminating the right information about it at the micro-level.
In his interaction with print journalists from fourteen locations comprising both national and regional media and representing eleven languages, PM Modi said newspapers carry tremendous credibility and that local pages of different regions are widely read.
The PM also recommended that awareness about the spread of coronavirus should be published on the local page of every edition.
He said it is essential to inform people about the location of testing centres, who should get tested, who should be contacted for getting tested and also about home isolation protocols. This information should be shared in newspapers and web portals of the paper, Modi said. The PM also suggested that information like the location of availability of essential items during lockdown can also be shared in the regional pages.
With secretaries of the Health and I&B ministry in attendance, Modi on Tuesday also asked the media to act as a link between government and people and to provide continuous feedback at both national and regional levels. Underlining the importance of social distancing, Modi also asked media to generate awareness for its need, apart from informing people about the lockdown by states, and highlight the impact of the spread of the virus, with the backing of international data and relevant case studies.
During the interaction, Modi also emphasised to keep up people’s fighting spirits, laying special emphasis on the need to tackle pessimism, negativity and rumour-mongering. “Citizens need to be assured that the government is committed to countering the impact of covid-19,” he told the newspersons. Modi also said it is critical to improve social cohesion to safeguard national security.
The journalists and stakeholders from print media appreciated the PM’s efforts and said they will build on his suggestions to publish inspiring and positive stories. They also thanked him for reinforcing the credibility of print media