By Linus Garg
First publised on 2020-03-30 13:42:46
There is no respite from the alarmist stories being put out by some digital media outlets and even regional news channels on television. There are some reports in digital that are spreading the ârumourâ that the lockdown will be âextendedâ by a week. Then, regional news channels are talking about curfew being imposed. None of these reports are true.
The rumour about the extension of the lockdown is being supported by the chaos caused by the exodus of migrant workers. It is being said the purpose of the lockdown is being defeated by the army of migrant workers who are roaming about on the streets of Delhi and on the border of many states. The reports invariably cite âinformed sourcesâ and âwell-placedâ persons to make this conjecture. But Prasar Bharti News Servies (PBNS) exposed the fakeness of the claim. It said that it got in touch with the Cabinet Secretary to verify the news and he categorically said that there was no plan to extend the lockdown.
Then, some regional news channels have been similarly quoting âhighly-placedâ sources to claim that due to the fact that some people are not strictly following the lockdown, the administration is thinking of clamping curfew in addition to the lockdown. There is no basis to these reports and the administration has asked the people not to believe these rumours but stay at home and stay safe. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is continuously advising people not to believe in rumours.
In these difficult times, the onus is on the media to keep people calm by providing them with true reports that are verified from authentic and official sources. If fake reports or conjectures and views are published, people will be unnecessarily alarmed and might panic. Hence, all media outlets must desist from publishing such reports. If they continue to publish such alarmist stories, the government must take action against them as per law.