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Act as link between Govt and people: PM to print media

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NEW DELHI, 24 March (IANS): Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Tuesday asked the print media to act as a link between the government and the people to create awareness and in providing continuous feedback in the wake of coronavirus outbreak. “Act as a link between the government and the people and provide continuous feedback, at both national and regional levels,” the Prime Minister told the print media representatives. Modi, while interacting through video link with over 20 journalists and other members of the print media from across the country, asked them to spread Covid-19 awareness through newspapers. Newspapers carried tremendous credibility so it was “imperative” that awareness about coronavirus be spread through articles published in local pages, the Prime Minister said. He stressed the need to inform people about coronavirus testing centres and “who should get tested, whom to contact to get tested and follow home isolation protocols”. “This information should be shared in newspapers and web portals of the paper,” the Prime Minister said. He was interacting with the print media, a day after his similar interaction with the selected electronic media outlets. Information about location and availability of essential items during lockdown should also be shared in the regional pages. Stressing the importance of social distancing, Modi asked the print media to generate awareness about it, inform people about the lockdown decision by states, and also highlight the impact of coronavirus spread, through inclusion of international data and case studies about other countries. Stating that it’s imperative to keep the fighting spirit of the people, the Prime Minister said, “It was important to tackle the spread of pessimism, negativity and rumour mongering”. “The citizens need to be assured that the government is committed to countering the impact of Covid-19,” Modi said and lauded the media for playing “praise-worthy role” in disseminating information to every nook and cranny of the nation. Journalists from 14 locations, comprising both national and regional media representing 11 languages, interacted with the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister thanked the participants for the feedback and reminded them of the social responsibility towards the less privileged. It was critical to improve social cohesion to safeguard our national security, he added. The Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare thanked journalists for helping prevent the panic through sharing information about proactive, pre-emptive and graded response of the government. The official urged the print media to prevent the spread of misinformation in this hour of crisis. The mediapersons said they would work on the Prime Minister’s suggestions to publish inspiring and positive stories. The Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting and the I&B Secretary also participated in the interaction.

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