Monday, April 19, 2021

Media should improve public understanding of cancer: N Ram

CHENNAI, FEBRUARY 5: The media needs to allot more space in the newspaper and more time on television or radio to report on cancer, N Ram, Chairman of The Hindu Group of Publications, said on Monday.
Speaking at a sensitisation programme for media personnel on ‘World Cancer Day’, organised by Cancer Institute (WIA), he said the media needs to put out messages that improve public understanding of cancer. “The risks of misinformation in this area are very high and it doesn’t matter whether that misinformation was deliberate or unintended. You have the trust of a lot of people and it could cause a great deal of harm,” he said.
There is the trap of sensationalism to grab the audience’s attention, he added. “If you [report] without exercising conscience, information will be mixed with misinformation; there has been research to show the impact this has, on the public’s behaviour,” Ram said.
V Shanta, Chairman, Cancer Institute (WIA), said a majority of cancers are preventable and curable, if detected early.
Media should help in getting rid of the stigma of the patient, she said. “Stigma is the worst thing for a patient. Highly educated people don’t want to say they have cancer; this kind of a stigma needs to be eradicated. We can create an impact [that cancer is curable] if [the efforts] are continuous. We should inculcate this education at school level,” she added.
M Govinda Raj,Jjudge, Madras High Court, and E Mariappan, Additional Director General, Press Information Bureau, also spoke during the occasion. (Courtesy: The Hindu)