Journalists, medical experts must work together to provide credible information to public, says N. Ram

‘The educational potential of the media still remains largely unrealised in India’

March 11, 2023 07:45 pm | Updated March 12, 2023 12:09 am IST - CHENNAI

N. Ram, Director, The Hindu Group Publishing Private Limited, speaking at the second Dr. V. Shanta Memorial Lecture in Chennai on Saturday.

N. Ram, Director, The Hindu Group Publishing Private Limited, speaking at the second Dr. V. Shanta Memorial Lecture in Chennai on Saturday. | Photo Credit: R. Ravindran

Journalists can provide credible public health information competently only by partnering with trustworthy healthcare providers committed to providing service to all sections of society, especially the weak and vulnerable, said N. Ram, Director, The Hindu Group Publishing Private Limited, at The Cancer Institute (WIA) on Saturday.

Delivering the second Dr. V. Shanta Memorial Lecture on “Cancer and the Role and Responsibilities of the Media”, Mr. Ram said the educational potential of the media still remained largely unrealised in India.

Dr. Shanta was a pioneering oncologist at The Cancer Institute, which was started as a 12-bed hospital in 1954, and devoted over six decades of her life to cancer control and prevention. “The depiction of cancer, typically in feature films, as a death sentence, any concessions to the tobacco lobby, any inaccurate reports on cancer cure or control will immediately trigger a phone call from Shanta or a letter to the editor or an interview given to our newspaper,” Mr. Ram said.

A sufficient number of journalists must show willingness to seek the aid of scholars and specialists in bringing about purposeful and critical interaction between journalism and fields such as medicine, he said, and added that experts, including physicians, economists, anthropologists and science researchers, should allocate time for mass communication.

“They must approach this in a public service spirit, the spirit that inspired Dr. Shanta to provide quality medical service to all,” Mr. Ram said. Seshasayee, Chairman; E. Hemanth Raj, executive vice-chairman; and Selvaluxmy G., Director of The Cancer Institute (WIA) were present.

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