INS Kerala Committee fights fake news with positive re-affirmation

In these tough and sensitive times, when the entire population is in the grip of Covid-19 fear, the onus on news media to check the spread of fake news and allay people’s fears has become all that more. The Indian Newspaper Society (INS), Kerala Regional Committee, has released a print ad in all Malayalam newspapers re-affirming its commitment to fighting fake news. Print players have banded together in a concerted effort to fight fake news and misinformation. In an earlier report, we showed how print players were fightining fake news with public service announcements.

The print ad copy reads, “In times like these, fake news can be fatal. As Covid-19 grips our world, we are beside you, fighting fake news and rumours that are spreading faster than the virus itself. We are aware of the great responsibility to deliver the truth to you every morning. Which is why each fact, image and word is painstakingly checked and rechecked by a team of true, experienced and dedicated journalists. More than ever, at this crucial time, we are committed to safeguarding our centuries-old tradition. And with it, the trust of millions of our readers. We shall always be there for you.” 

The ad ends with the affirmation, “This is our promise, in black and white.” 

All newspapers in Kerala carried this ad on their front pages on the March 25, 2020 edition in Malayalam. 

Consumers are panicked across the country as fake information is spreading that print media might be a carrier of the virus. However, leading newspapers have declared that after consulting doctors and virologists there isn't any evidence to suggest that newspapers can spread the campaign.

The initiative by print media came into full force after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nationwide address to the people to observe a self imposed Janta Curfew on Sundays. More recently, the PM addressed the nation once again requesting them to remain indoors for 21 days to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. More than 500 cases have been reported in the media with the deaths rising to 9 people.

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