Ensure operational continuity of Print and Electronic Media, Center writes to States/UTs

Government of India
Ministry of Information & Broadcasting

In light of the evolving COVID-19 situation in the country, Union Government has written to all State Governments/Union Territories, requesting them to ensure operational continuity of Print and Electronic Media. The letter, addressed to Chief Secretaries, highlights importance of robust and essential information dissemination networks viz TV Channels, News Agencies, Teleport Operators, Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG), Direct to Home (DTH) and Highend-in-the Sky (HITS), Multi System Operators (MSOs), Cable Operators, Frequency Modulation (FM) radio and Community Radio Stations. The Union Government has stated that the proper functioning of these networks is required not only to create awareness among people but also to keep the nation updated of the latest status. The letter further stated that these networks played a pivotal role in ensuring avoidance of fake news and promotion of good practices.

The government has advised that ensuring uninterrupted operation of these information networks and their outreach is of vital importance. The letter further listed the critical infrastructure as below:

  1. Printing presses and distribution infrastructure of Newspapers, and Magazines
  2. All TV channels and supporting services like Teleports and DSNGs
  3. DTH/HITS operations connected equipments/facilities etc including maintenance
  4. FM/CRS Networks
  5. Network of MSOs and Cable Operators, and
  6. News Agencies

Centre has requested State/UT administrations to keep the following in view in case restrictions were being contemplated for containment of COVID-19

  1. All operators of such facilities/intermediaries in the chain be permitted to remain operational
  2. Facilitating smooth supply and distribution chain as may be required
  3. The facilities should be permitted to be manned by staff of the service providers
  4. The movement of accredited staff of service providers be permitted
  5. The movement of vehicles carrying media persons, DSNGs, and others including  provisioning of fuel, wherever required may kindly be facilitated, and
  6. Availability of uninterrupted electric supply and other logistics as requested by such facilities be provided

Centre has also advised service providers to coordinate with local authorities in case they faced any problem in providing uninterrupted services.

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