For responsible media organisations maintaining public trust should be the highest guiding principle, says minister
GN Bureau | November 29, 2022
Presenting authentic information is the prime responsibility of media and that facts should be properly checked before they are put in the public domain, union minister of information and broadcasting Anurag Thakur has said.
“While speed with which the information is transmitted is important, accuracy is even more important and should be primary in the minds of communicators”. With the spread of social media, fake news has also proliferated, the Minister added. To that end he informed the audience of broadcasters from the Asia-Pacific region that the Government promptly established the Fact Check Unit in the Press Information Bureau of Government of India to counter unverified claims and present truth to the people,” the minister said at the opening ceremony of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) General Assembly 2022 here Tuesday.
The minister highlighted that for responsible media organisations maintaining public trust should be the highest guiding principle. He credited public broadcasters Doordarshan and All India Radio for having always stood by the truth and having won people’s trust for their truthful reporting. He underlined that media’s role during the time of crisis becomes critical as it directly concerns saving lives adding that media is at the core of national disaster management plans.
Thakur also credited the media for coming to the aid of people stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic saying it was media which connected people with the outside world. He informed the audience of the stellar work done by Doordarshan and All India Radio in particular and the Indian media in general saying Doordarshan and All India Radio, very satisfactorily delivered on their mandate of public service and stood strong with the people during the time of pandemic. Indian media, he said, in general ensured that COVID-19 awareness messages, important government guidelines and free online consultations with doctors reached everyone in nook and corner of the country. 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, the Minister said.
Thakur invited media to become a partner in governance and used the podium to reiterate the words of prime minister Narendra Modi that “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 organizations 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.
The minister also deliberated on the collaborations and partnerships India has with ABU members and said that NABM, the apex training institute of Prasar Bharati is closely collaborating with ABU Media Academy in organising trainings covering various aspects of broadcast industry. 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,” he added.
Prasar Bharati, India’s Public Service Broadcaster, 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”. The General Assembly was inaugurated Tuesday by Thakur in the presence of minister of state for information & broadcasting Dr. L Murugan, Apurva Chandra, secretary, I&B, Masagaki Satoru, president, ABU and Javad Mottaghi, secretary general, ABU. The ABU is a nonprofit, professional association of the broadcasting organizations of Asia and pacific region. More than 300 international delegates from 40 countries representing 50 organizations are participating in the event.
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