Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur on Tuesday said presenting authentic information was the prime responsibility of the media, stating that with the expansion of social media, fake news has also proliferated.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) General Assembly-2022, the Minister said, “While the speed with which information is transmitted is important, accuracy is even more important and should be primary in the minds of communicators.”
He informed the broadcasters from the Asia-Pacific region that the Indian government has promptly established a “fact-check unit” in the Press Information Bureau to counter unverified claims and present truth to the people.
He said public broadcasters, Doordarshan and All India Radio, have “always stood by the truth” and “won people’s trust for their truthful reporting”.
Mr. Thakur credited the media for coming to the aid of people stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic saying it was they who connected people with the outside world. Indian media, he said, ensured that COVID-19 awareness messages, important government guidelines and free online consultations with doctors reached everyone.
“The Prasar Bharati lost over hundred members to COVID-19 and yet it did not deter the organisation from carrying on with its public service mandate,” said the Minister.
India has bilateral agreements in the areas of content exchange, co-production, capacity building, etc. with about 40 countries, a number of them are fellow ABU countries such as Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Fiji, Maldives, Nepal, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.
“We have also partnered with Australia in the field of broadcasting in March 2022 for programme sharing. The broadcasters of the two countries are also exploring opportunities in co-production and joint broadcasting of programmes spanning multiple genres,” said the Minister.
Prasar Bharati is hosting the 59th ABU General Assembly. The theme for this year’s assembly is “Serving the People: Media’s Role in Times of Crisis”.