Pyschiatrists and other mental health professionals across India have written an open letter to media on Thursday requesting them to responsibly and sensitively report COVID-19 news.
Led by Dr B N Gangadhar, President of Ethics and Medical Registration Board at National Medical Commission, the letter refers to the reportage of the lack of medical amenities and deaths during the second wave of Coronavirus.
Since people are locked in their houses, unable to live a normal life, a mental health epidemic has already plagued the country along with the pandemic, the doctors say. Terming the current reportage "disconcerting", mental health professionals have asked media outlets to avoid coverage that spreads panic and hysteria.
The letter suggests media avoid displaying images of cremations grounds, relatives of deceased crying inconsolably and other such delicate images. It advises reporting the shortage of medical supplies responsibly by specifying the location of shortage and not imply that there exists a universal shortage.
Since it is tough to find out which image, which word used by the media can be the last straw for a viewer's mental health, media should be responsible with their reporting, the letter adds.
While many are promoting the letter, others are of the view that it is media's job to report the reality and they should not be discouraged.
Here's what the conversation around the letter looks like.