NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday interacted with journalists and stakeholders from the print media regarding the novel coronavirus pandemic and said it is imperative to keep the fighting spirit of the people up

PM Modi also emphasised the need to tackle the spread of pessimism, negativity and rumour-mongering to tackle the spread of coronavirus.

During his interaction with the media persons via video conference, the Prime Minister appreciated the “praise-worthy” role that media has played in disseminating information to every nook and cranny of this nation.

Saying that the network of media is pan-India and spread across cities and villages, PM Modi highlighted how the media is all the more significant in fighting this challenge and spreading correct information about it at a micro level.

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“Newspapers carry tremendous credibility and the local page of a region is widely read by people. It is therefore imperative that awareness about coronavirus is spread through articles published in this page. It is essential to inform people about where the testing centres are, 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.

The PM also suggested that information like location of availability of essential items during the lockdown can also be shared in the regional pages of the newspapers.

PM Modi, in his interaction with the journalists, asked the media to act as a link between government and people, and provide continuous feedback, at both national and regional level.

He also underlined the importance of social distancing, asking media to generate awareness about its importance, inform people about the lockdown decision by states, and also highlight the impact of spread of the virus, through inclusion of international data and case studies about other countries in the papers.

Underlining that it is imperative to keep the fighting spirit of the people up; PM emphasized that it was important to tackle the spread of pessimism, negativity and rumour mongering. “Citizens need to be assured that the government is committed to countering the impact of COVID-19,” he added.

The journalists and stakeholders assured the PM that they will work on his suggestions to publish inspiring and positive stories.

The PM also reminded the journalists of the social responsibility towards the less privileged, saying it is critical to improve social cohesion to safeguard our national security.

Union minister of information & broadcasting and secretary also participated in the interaction.

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