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Govt to have media cell to combat false reports on news channels

MUMBAI: The government is considering appointing a rapid media response cell to combat false and half-baked stories featuring on news channels.

The intention is to put up a quick visual response to incorrect news reports on television. The government’s video response will be seen opposing the report put up on the same channel minutes ago.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) is working on a new communication strategy. Proposals were put forward and accepted by a committee of secretaries of all ministries. “Many of the critical stories run in media today are based on little information and misinterpretations by journalists and do not present the full picture,” an I&B official told the Economic Times.

Stories on media will be monitored by professionals and instant responses sent to media teams to be presented or published.

“Sometimes a rumour or a false story about the government’s failure remains etched in public memory. The present system of sending rejoinders doesn’t work as they are published only the next day and often never even considered by TV channels. With social media, the response team can ensure the clarifications and denials are suitably publicised on Facebook and Twitter,” the official told ET.

The ministry’s response cell will liaison with media and provide responses to their stories.