IMPHAL: Media is playing a crucial role in fighting Covid19 pandemic and has been working along with the government in informing the people about all aspects of pandemic management and public safety awareness. The role of the press during ongoing Covid19 pandemic was discussed at an online seminar jointly organised today by Press Information Bureau and Bureau of Outreach and Communication (BOC), Imphal Region in association with Department of Mass Communication, Manipur University.
The seminar was attended by the professors and students of Department of Mass Communication, media persons and officials of BOC and PIB Imphal.
In his welcome address, Additional Director General, Imphal region, Shri S N Pradhan said that media gives the critical feedback to the government so that various aspects of Covid19 management are fine-tuned and any discrepancies are corrected by the administration immediately. In fact, Prime Minister has named media persons as one of the frontline warriors in our collective fight against the pandemic, he added. He said that since the first lockdown was announced in March, media has been informing the people of the requirements necessary to stop the spread of pandemic and means to ensure individual and community safety.
In his keynote address, Shri Abhisek Dayal, Director, PIB Imphal said that media in Manipur has shown exceptional maturity in handling sensitive information and has adequately informed people of the ways in which they can stay safe and prevent the infection from spreading. He called upon greater communication between the officials and the media to ensure that the citizens are able to fully benefit from the social, medical and financial interventions that the government is making for the benefit of the people.
While addressing the seminar, Dr. Sonia Wahengbam, Senior Asst. Professor, Manipur University said that media has to keep in mind the behavioural aspects of all audiences while communicating on health and pandemic related stories. She said that along with the pandemic, we are fighting an “infodemic” also.
In his address Dr. N. Jiten Singh, Superspecialist (ENT), RIMS, Imphal callednupon the media to use reliable sources of information only. Media has to act as a platform to correct many wrong perceptions and rumours on social media, he added.
Rupachandra Yumnam, Editor-in-Chief, Impact TV, highlighted the role of electronic media in educating the people, saying it is a defining moment for the entire media. He said media has to contribute by constantly highlighting and reinforcing preventive and safety messages.