PIB, Guwahati organizes Webinar on Behavioral Change in Public during COVID-19

PIB/ TMB Report

GUWAHATI: Community radio can play a pivotal role in bringing behavioral change in public, said L.R. Viswanath, Head of Department, North East Zone, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

He was addressing a   webinar organized by Press Information Bureau, Guwahatiin collaboration with Brahmaputra Community Radio Station, Dibrugarh today. The topic of the Webinar was “Behavioral change in public during COVID-19”.

Vishwanath also said that community radio must share COVID-19 awareness among the masses. It can play a major role in bringing behavioral change like maintaing social distancing, wearing mask and sanitizing hands.

Vishwanath further added that electronic media, particularly television channels and social media are being extensively used for effective communication for dissemination of best practices of COVID management. But the target audience covered under these platforms is not enough. Therefore the use of Community Radio in this direction is both need of the hour and imperative, he said. Community radio covers a particular community and segmentwhich in turn covers the local issues and is even successful in the dark areas where the other platforms of communication cannot reach, Vishwanath said.

Dr. Dhrubajyoti Bhuyan, Assistant Professor, Dept. Of Psychiatry, Assam Medical College Hospital, Dibrugarh spoke extensively on Mental Health during COVID- 19. He said that maintaining calm and positive approach is essential during this crisis time.

Dr. Ankuran Dutta, Head of the Department of Communication & Journalism, Gauhati University talked about the role of Community radio on Behavioral change during COVID-19. He said that strategic communications through Community radio can bring positive behavioral changes among the people.

Dr Alankar Kaushik, English and Foreign Language University, Shillong spoke on the use of language in media during COVID-19 andthe significant role it plays in disseminating information. One should be very careful of the language being used while spreading the messages on COVID-19. He said that use of sensational language should strictly be avoided as it may create panic among publicand hence defeat the entire objective.

Ms. Gitali Kakati, State Social and Behavioral Change CommunicationConsultant, UNICEF talked about Risk Communication & Community engagement. She said that during this crisis time emphasis should be on positive news, how many people have recovered must be highlighted. Shri Bhaskar Jyoti Bhuyan, Station Head Brahmaputra Community Radio Station, Dibrugarh said that Community Radio is a very strong medium to disseminate information in the region as it is popular among the people.

Hiramani Das, Field Publicity Officer, Regional Outreach Bureau  delivered  the welcome address and Smita Saikia, Media and Communication Officer, Press Information Bureau  delivered the closing remarks in today’s Webinar. Barnali Mahanta, Information Assistant, PIB moderated the Webinar.

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