Appeal of the Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority to Content and Media Service Providers

Published: 26 March 2020

The extraordinary situation created by the pandemic imposes an increased responsibility on the media, media service providers, content providers and media professionals. Unfortunately, misleading, false, sensationalist communications have become more common in recent weeks.

Today, credible information is more important than ever as fake news and traditional and social media content with increasing uncertainty only induce fear and anxiety in people and may trigger a panic reaction in the society.

In view of the above, we urge media service providers and content providers to intensify their efforts to provide accurate and comprehensive information, and to help readers, viewers, and listeners to obtain information from credible sources. We urge you to contribute to the fight against the pandemic with factual information and news, and to avoid downplaying the current situation while not causing panic, either.

We ask media market players to take into account, in addition to their commercial and political interests, the public interest dictated by this state of emergency. Please pay attention to the reliability of your sources, alert your readers, viewers, and listeners to obtain information on the pandemic primarily from official sources, and communicate such information without distorting them. Please follow the nationwide news coverage of public service networks.

We also urge you to make staying at home more tolerable by focusing on specific topics, while also striving for quality, for schoolchildren and the elderly, who are particularly affected by the change in lifestyle due to the epidemic.

We know that media service providers have to face not only the burden of heightened attention and responsibility but also the loss in advertising revenue. We, therefore, welcome government measures to compensate for the revenue loss suffered by the media industry.

In this state of emergency, our responsibility is to act within our powers and closely monitor media and content services, their compliance with the laws and broadcasting contracts, and to continue our work. We are committed to fulfil our mission.

We welcome the fact that in the current state of danger, many media and content providers are already committed to complying with these standards, and we urge all market players to play their part in corporate social responsibility.