Anurag Thakur, the Union information and broadcasting (I&B) minister, stated on Tuesday that the accuracy of the information released by media companies is more significant than the speed at which the information is sent.

During the opening ceremony of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union General Assembly, which was hosted by India’s public broadcaster Prasar Bharati, the minister stated that “presenting authentic information is the primary responsibility of media, and facts should be properly checked before they are put in the public domain.”

He argued that responsible reporting of earthquakes, fires, and terrorist attacks was essential to the success of the nation’s objectives for national disaster management. In the event of a terrorist attack, the media “must ensure that any live broadcasting should not provide clues to the terrorists and their malign intentions,” he stated.

The minister said that the growth of social media has led to an increase in false news and that the government’s information-dissemination arm, the Press Information Bureau, has established a fact-checking section to combat unsubstantiated assertions made on social media.

According to the government release, Thakur also gave the media credit for helping those who were stranded at home during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Covid-19 crisis tested individuals all around the world. The media served as a conduit for communication with the outside world when the lockdowns were in full swing. Important government directives for COVID-19 were made available by the Indian media. People were exposed to awareness messages. In such circumstances, it is the media’s duty to provide accurate and timely information, he stated.

According to the minister, the media should serve as a conduit between the public and the government and continuously provide input on both a national and regional scale.

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