Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur has today said that, “presenting authentic information is the prime responsibility of media and that facts should be properly checked before they are put in the public domain”.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union General Assembly 2022, the Minister said, “While the speed with which the information is transmitted is important, accuracy is even more important and hence, 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 that the government promptly established the fact check unit in the Press Information Bureau of the Government of India to counter unverified claims and present the truth to the people.
The minister highlighted that for responsible media organisations, maintaining public trust should be the highest guiding principle. He underlined that the 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.
Anurag Thakur also credited the media for coming to the aid of people stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic saying that it was the media that connected people with the outside world. Indian media, he said, in general, ensured that COVID-19 awareness messages, important government guidelines and free online consultations with doctors reached everyone in the nook and corner of the country.
Thakur invited the 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 the government and people and provide continuous feedback, at both the national and the regional levels”.
The minister also deliberated on the collaborations and partnerships India has with Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) members and said that the National Academy of Broadcasting and Multimedia (NABM), the apex training institute of Prasar Bharati is closely collaborating with ABU Media Academy in organising training covering various aspects of the broadcast industry. India has bilateral agreements in the areas of content exchange, co-production, capacity building, among others, with about 40 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 further added.
Speaking on the occasion, Masagaki Satoru outlined on the important role being played by ABU in the Asia pacific region and appreciated the collaborated efforts being made by all public service broadcasters of the region in sharing news of public importance among themselves.
Javad Mottaghi speaking on the occasion said that the region is full of diversity yet all member countries find commonality and display true unity in a such wide diversity. Gaurav Dwivedi, CEO, Prasar Bharati, in his welcome address appreciated the role of ABU in promoting the collective interests of television and radio broadcasters and regional and international cooperation between broadcasters in the Asia Pacific Region. He further said that this conference is an opportunity to share the achievements of the country in the sector of media and communication and showcase the rich heritage, vast diversity and progressive India to the world.
Prasar Bharati, India’s Public Service Broadcaster, hosted the 59th ABU General Assembly 2022. The theme for this year’s assembly is “Serving the People: Media’s Role in Times of Crisis”. The General Assembly was inaugurated by Anurag Singh Thakur in New Delhi.
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