Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur on Tuesday said with the rapid growth of social media, fake news has also proliferated, adding that “presenting authentic information is the prime responsibility of the media and facts should be properly checked before they are put in the public domain”.
He made the remarks while addressing the inaugural ceremony of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) General Assembly 2022.
“While speed with which information is transmitted is important, accuracy is even more important and should be primary in the minds of communicators,” the Union Minister noted.
Regarding fake news, Thakur said that the Centre has established the Fact Check Unit in the Press Information Bureau to counter unverified claims and present truth to the people.
The Minister highlighted that for responsible media organisationsn maintaining public trust should be the highest guiding principle.
He credited public broadcasters, Doordarshan and All India Radio, for “always standing by the truth and winning people’s trust for their truthful reporting”.
He underlined that the media’s role during the time of crisis becomes critical, adding that media is also at the core of national disaster management plans.
Thakur further credited the media for coming to the aid of people stuck at home during the Covid-19 pandemic saying, “it was media that connected people with the outside world”.
The Indian media, in general ensured that Covid-19 awareness messages, important government guidelines and free online consultations with doctors reached everyone in every nook and corner of the country, the Minister said.
Thakur claimed that Prasar Bharati lost over a hundred members during the pandemic and yet it did not deter from carrying on with its public service mandate.
The Union Minister invited the media to become a partner in governance.
Used the podium to reiterate the words of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Thakur said: “Media should act as a link between government and people and provide continuous feedback, at both national and regional level.”
He further urged that ABU as an association of broadcasting organisations must continue to train and equip media practitioners with the best professional skills on role of media in the time of crisis and promised that India was ready to all such efforts.