Media role in crisis cannot be ignored: Harrasi

The role played by media persons in the dissemination of news should be not ignored, said members of the Supreme Committee at a press conference on Thursday.

“We have learned that some media organizations are reducing the salaries of their employees. Journalists are also soldiers of our nation, especially in the light of this pandemic. We hope that these organizations will take into account the importance of the role of the media during this period”, said Dr Abdullah al Harrasi, Chairman of Public Authority for Radio and Television (PART) and member of the Supreme Committee.

He added, “The news and decisions issued by the Supreme Committee are published through the Omani News Agency (ONA), the official source for such news
in the Sultanate, in addition to the official television channel and the official media. There is no monopoly on the updates issued by the committee”.

He said that the role of the Omani media in the next stage is to ensure that the reopening of some activities, should not be understood as that the crisis is completely over.

The media should reaffirm the importance of the commitment to preventive
measures and health requirements in activities that have been reopened.

The media should focus on the importance of providing rapid response to rumours by strengthening the means of communication with the community.

Harrasi said the decision to reopen certain businesses was to kickstart the economic activities that were affected by this pandemic.

He said, “If we don’t commit with the slow re-opening that’s currently happening, then we will go back to spreading the virus”.

It may be noted that rumours are now occurring less due to the constant warning issued about that the legal actions that will be taken against the offenders.