Regulators

MIB asks states to ensure operational continuity of media amid Covid-19 outbreak

Robust and essential information dissemination networks are of paramount importance

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MUMBAI: In view of the coronavirus pandemic, the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) has directed all state governments and union territories to ensure uninterrupted operation of information networks as their outreach is of vital importance.

At this juncture, robust and essential information dissemination networks such as TV channels, news agencies, teleport operators, digital satellite news gathering (DSNG), DTH, and Highend-in-the Sky (HITS), MSOs, cable operators, FM radio and Community Radio Stations (CRSs) are of utmost importance to ensure timely and authentic information dissemination. The proper functioning of these networks is required not only to create awareness among people and to give important messages but also to keep the nation updated of the latest status.

The MIB also said in the press release that false and fake news need to be avoided and good practices need to be promoted and these networks play a pivotal role in ensuring the same.

The critical infrastructure in this case include:

(a) Printing presses and distribution infrastructure of newspapers and

magazines;

(b)All TV channels and supporting services like teleports and DSNGs;

(c) DTH/HITS operations connected equipment /facilities, etc. including

maintenance;

(d) FM/CRS networks;

(e)Networks of MSOs and cable operators; and

(f) News agencies.

In order to ensure continuity of these services, MIB requested state

Governments and union territory administrations to facilitate operational

convenience of the above-mentioned services.

It also requested the keep the following points in case any restrictions are contemplated to be imposed for containment of COVID-19:

(a) All operators of such facilities I intermediaries in the chain be permitted

to remain operational;

(b)Facilitating smooth supply and distribution chain as may be required;

(c) The facilities should be permitted to be manned by the staff of the

service providers;

(d) The movement of the accredited staff of services providers be permitted;

(e) The movement of vehicles carrying media persons, DSNGs and others including provisioning of fuel, wherever required may be facilitated; and

(f) Availability of uninterrupted electric supply and other logistics as requested by such facilities have to be provided;

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