As the world grapples with COVID-19, many states in India are witnessing a second or third wave of the pandemic. Governments at the state level have realised that wide-scale lockdowns are not a viable option anymore. The pandemic has weakened economies across the world and that of India. We have to focus on economic recovery, we have to open up. But how do we prioritise safety amidst the pandemic?
The concerted efforts by the medical fraternity, global experts, and political leaders around the world are yielding vaccines that will become available to people over the next 12 months. Some countries may get it sooner, some later. Our government, too, is weighing in on the efficacy, long-term effects, cost, and distribution of the vaccine to the world’s second-largest population.
We must be realistic that, in a country the size and population of India, it will take many months for the vaccine to reach everyone. Therefore we cannot let our guard down when it comes to coronavirus. The virus is desperate to enter our lives to ensure its very own survival. We must not let it get to us.
Using newspapers to send a message
In India, newspapers continue to be the most credible source of information. With the influx of digital content, we saw fake news, propaganda, and unverified information presented as facts during the pandemic. But, the Indian readers have rightly placed their trust in newspapers to be their go-to source of information and guidance. Trust in newspapers as a source of information and knowledge is at an all-time high.
Dainik Bhaskar Group, India’s largest newspaper group with 66 million readers, has been at the forefront of driving socio-economic changes in its markets of operations. The group enjoys an unrelenting credibility and reader trust that is truly beyond measure. The group’s editorial philosophy, “Reader at the core,” is aimed at adding value to readers’ lives by delivering rich, knowledgeable content.
To this effect, driving impact through group publications, digital platforms, and radio has been tried and tested successfully time and again. The group’s social campaigns have a great advocacy effect.
The Dainik Bhaskar, Divya Marathi, and Divya Bhaskar newspapers from the Dainik Bhaskar Group have stepped up their social messaging endeavours by replacing the masthead with a “Mask is the only vaccine for now” campaign. This ongoing campaign is aimed at drawing attention to the fact that wearing masks is critical in our fight against the pandemic while keeping the economic activity moving as the world waits for the vaccine.
The group’s leadership position and widespread reach across 12 states in India through three flagship newspapers – Dainik Bhaskar (46 editions), Divya Bhaskar (nine editions), and Divya Marathi (six editions), along with radio and digital platforms, have been optimised to create awareness about the importance of masks.
Such strong measures toward creating awareness about the importance of masks are yielding results as people are increasingly including masks in their daily routines and raising their voices against those who are seen without a mask in public.
The revolutionary move of replacing the masthead with a mask is an industry first and is specifically designed to alert the reader to the seriousness of the issue. The on-ground efforts put in by the team, along with relevant content, have helped create awareness on the importance of constant vigilance, social distancing, and wearing masks.
“Mask is the only vaccine for now” is the best advice available right now. We want our readers to take it!