To our readers: Fighting fear with facts

As India goes into lockdown to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, it has become more important than ever to make sure that the public gets accurate information. The world has not seen a health crisis of such proportions in a long time. Sure, social media serves as a vital means of communication, social cohesion and information dissemination. Unfortunately, it’s also a source of considerable misinformation, some of it harmless but a lot of it damaging, especially at a time of crisis such as this. In mere minutes, malicious fabrications spread like wildfire through the population, leading to chaos, panic, and ultimately hurting lives.
Some of this misinformation has been directed at the very industry that’s trying to ensure that people get the right information. Journalists at The Times Group publications such as The Times of India and The Economic Times strive to bring you credible, authenticated information. Only this can help readers make informed choices.
Busting myths: Newspapers do not spread COVID-19 virus
Governments understand the critical role of journalism in these times of crisis and have deemed media as part of the essential services that need to function during lockdown. In his address to the nation on the evening of March 19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi listed media among essential services. Official notifications issued in the last few days have also exempted media — print and electronic — from the escalating curbs. These pronouncements underscore the importance of media, notably your daily newspaper, during this crucial period in the life of our nation.
No cause for alarm about newspapers: Docs
We know you have been facing difficulties in getting your favourite newspaper because of unfounded fears that this could be an avenue of infection. Our presses follow stringent hygiene protocols that have been reinforced following the outbreak and at no time is the paper handled manually during the printing process.
At distribution centres, we and other news organisations have provided gloves, sanitisers and masks to ensure that last-mile delivery is also safeguarded.
Read Also: Social media menace
The World Health Organisation has deemed it safe to receive packages( Read here). In addition, respected epidemiologists and public health specialists have said people should not believe in rumours about newspapers being unsafe to touch and called such fears “unscientific and irrational”.
Rest assured that we’re working hard to resolve distribution issues to the satisfaction of all stakeholders, the most important of whom is you. In these challenging times, the truth will be our guide. Together, we shall overcome.

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