NPA flags misinformation

DIMAPUR, MAR 24 (NPN) | Publish Date: 3/24/2020 12:22:16 PM IST

Nagaland Press Association (NPA) has flagged the issue of newspapers as a medium becoming the latest victim of COVID-19 pandemic. 

In a statement issued through its president H Chishi and joint secretary Alice Yhoshu, NPA pointed out that messages were being shared and forwarded on social media that newspapers could be avenues of virus, despite it being refuted by health experts and doctors. This had affected circulation of newspapers in the State, besides affecting livelihood of newspaper hawkers and distributors. In the State Capital, it alleged that newspaper hawkers were being barred from entering wards and colonies, which was hampering delivery of information to the doorsteps of public.

In this connection, NPA urged the State government and health department to look into the matter, so that dissemination of information was not held back. It also requested the government to provide safety and protective kits and hygiene aid to journalists, newspaper hawkers and distributors to be used at distribution centres and last-mile delivery of newspapers.

NPA also suggested the state government to appoint a nodal officer to share updated information with media houses and journalists so as to facilitate the journalists to work from offices and home.

With all the uncertainties, NPA pointed out that journalists around the world were faced with many challenges of covering the pandemic, including combating misinformation and health risks to journalists in the field, while not fuelling panic in this extraordinary situation.

Unfortunately, examples abound of communication failure had delayed outbreak control, undermined public trust and compliance, and unnecessarily prolonged economic, social, and political turmoil.

Pointing out that the Central and State governments had understood the major role of media in these times of crisis and had deemed it as part of essential services that needed to function during the lockdown, NPA recalled that in his address to the nation on March 19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had listed media among essential services, while the State government’s notification also clearly spelt out that media was an essential service and exempted from the lockdown. These pronouncements underlined the significance of media, it added.



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