Explain ban on doorstep delivery of newspapers, PCI asks govt

The Press Council of India (PCI) has issued a notice to the Maharashtra government over prohibition of doorstep delivery of newspapers and magazines in the state, and sought an explanation from the chief secretary.

22 Apr 2020 | By PrintWeek Team

The Maharashtra government had decided to stop door-to-door delivery of newspapers and magazines to contain the spread of Coronavirus.

A PCI statement said the body’s chairman, Justice Chandramouli K Prasad (retired), was concerned over the Maharashtra government’s order, especially since it did not adhere to the Union government’s 23 March directive asking all states to ensure operational continuity of print media. Doctors and epidemiologists have said newspapers are an unlikely medium for the spread of coronavirus. The government, grappling with fake news on social media platforms, has also emphasised the necessity of newspapers in disseminating reliable, fact-checked information to people.

The PCI also advised state governments and administrative authorities to take necessary measures to ensure smooth functioning of media during the lockdown. “Taking suo-motu cognisance of the issue, the chairman has issued a notice for comments to the chief secretary to the government of Maharashtra,” the PCI statement said.

While the Maharashtra government has said the production and sale of newspapers and magazines is allowed at stalls and shops established for the purpose, the print media has been asked to avoid home deliveries. However, except for Pune and Mumbai Metropolitan Region, the government has partially rolled back the decision by permitting door-to-door delivery of newspapers as per an revised order on Tuesday.

(Courtesy: Agencies)