NEW DELHI: The government's Press Information Bureau (PIB) on Wednesday highlighted the Supreme Court's directive to the media to maintain a strong sense of responsibility while reporting on issues pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that unverified news capable of causing panic is not disseminated.
In a statement, the PIB said the Supreme Court has noted that the migration of a large number of labourers working in the cities was triggered by panic created by fake news that the lockdown would continue for more than three months.
The court observed that it was not possible for it to overlook the menace of fake news by electronic, print or social media because the panic-driven migration has caused suffering to those who acted on such news, causing some to lose their lives, said the statement by the PIB which is under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The Supreme Court has directed the media, including print, electronic and social media, to maintain a strong sense of responsibility and ensure that unverified news capable of causing panic is not disseminated, it said.
The top court has said in its order that it does not intend to interfere with free discussion about the pandemic, but at the same time has directed that the media refer to and publish the official version of the developments, the PIB statement stressed.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed that to check fake news, a daily bulletin system with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic be made active within 24 hours by the government through all media avenues including social media and forums to clear people's doubts.