Presenting authentic information is the prime responsibility of the media and facts should be properly checked before they are put in the public domain, Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union General Assembly 2022, Anurag Thakur said, “While the 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 noted. 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 to counter unverified claims and present the truth to the people.
Thakur highlighted that for responsible media organisations, maintaining public trust should be the highest guiding principle. He appreciated public broadcasters, Doordarshan and All India Radio, for having always stood by the truth and won people’s trust for their truthful reporting.
He underlined that the media’s role during the time of crisis became critical as it was directly concerned with saving lives, adding that media was at the core of national disaster management plans.
He credited the media for coming to the aid of people stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying it was the 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 the pandemic.
Indian media, Thakur said, 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 Prasar Bharati lost over a hundred members to the pandemic and yet it did not deter the organisation from carrying on with its public service mandate, the minister added.