Coronavirus: I&B Ministry orders States to facilitate print and electronic media outlets to fight fake news

Ensure smooth supply and distribution chain and other logistics, says directive

March 24, 2020 06:38 pm | Updated 10:54 pm IST - New Delhi

In a bid to fight "fake news", rumours and speculation that have been doing the rounds on the social media in connection with the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry has issued directions to all State governments to facilitate functioning of all print and electronic media outlets.

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In an order issued on Monday, the Ministry has said proper functioning of the media network is essential to create awareness among people, to disseminate important messages and also keep the nation updated on 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," the Ministry said in its directive.

The Ministry orders come in the backdrop of the lockdown across the country limiting the movement of people and shutting all institutions and offices. Issuing the six-point directive, the Ministry has said all operators and their intermediaries should be permitted to remain operational. It has urged the State governments to facilitate "smooth supply and distribution chain".

The media facilities should be permitted to be manned by the staff of the service providers. "The movement of the accredited staff of service providers be permitted; the movement of vehicles carrying media persons and others including provisioning of fuel may kindly be facilitated," the order says.

The Ministry has also directed the State governments to ensure that there is uninterrupted electric supply and other logistics as requested by such facilities.

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