While there is panic over receiving letters and parcels amid coronavirus threat, the World Health Organization and industry experts say that it’s safe to read a newspaper. Inks and chemicals are used in both the manufacturing and printing process that could prevent the virus from living on surfaces and there is collective scientific evidence that newspapers are harmless, and that there’s really no risk of catching any infection from them. The International News Media Association (INMA), an influential body that globally promotes best practices for news media, has collected current scientific research on the safety of newspapers that clearly demonstrates these are safe. So far there’s been no instance of COVID-19 transmission through newsprint anywhere in the world. Research on virus transmission to inanimate surfaces suggests absorbent surfaces carry the lowest potency for the shortest period of time and Newsprint is extremely porous. Moreover, the Newsprint are very well self-sterile because of the way they are printed and the process they’ve been through. All of the ink and the print makes news print quite sterile.
Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd, which publishes TOI and ET has already put out videos of its automated process, and listed precautionary measures being taken along the delivery chain. Newspapers are absolutely safe. After the newspapers are loaded onto trucks and sent to distribution centers, the newspaper haulers all made to adopt safety measures such as wearing gloves as they put the papers in plastic bags and delivery them to the homes of readers. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes coronavirus (COVID-19) from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low. This was WHO’s answer to a question on whether it was safe to receive a package from any area where COVID-19 has been reported. Precautions at a personal level are must while printing and distributing print door to door. Wash your hands before and after reading newspapers or books. The WHO stresses on cleaning hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water, and avoid touching eyes, mouth or nose. Besides this, there is the recommendation for personal distancing as well. In the press and packaging departments, workers are keeping a safe, social distance while on the job is must. If anyone is sick, they should be asked to not come in. The cleaning staff should also boost its efforts to clean the facilities and disinfect surfaces. To date, everyone is healthy, and there have been no reported cases of the coronavirus in this industry.
Going by the guidelines provided by the WHO, it is safe to pick up, touch and read through the newspaper delivered to your home. In those guidelines for packages. More specifically with newspapers, that the paper used in manufacturing newspapers is created in a mill, where the process is highly automated and rarely, if ever, touched by human hands. And when the newspaper is run through the printing press and loaded onto trucks, goes through another highly automated process with very little, if any, handling the papers themselves. Inks and chemicals are used in both the manufacturing and printing process that could prevent the virus from living on surfaces. After the newspapers are loaded onto trucks and sent to distributors, the circulators should carry gloves as they put the papers in plastic bags and delivery them to the homes of readers. In the press and packaging departments one must ensure that the workers are keeping a safe, social distance while on the job.
The Patriot-News’ newspaper, has explained in details how to handle entire process of printing, circulating and distributing newspaper door to door.
In the long period of lockdown, people are sick of news channels and they took to social media, these days there is too much reporting, too little investigating. The media as the great equalizer is gone when we define media as the main stream media. Media ownership is also a problem. It tends to result in ideological bias. Until the media spends less time repeating — word for word — what people in power say, and more time on exploring whether what people in power say is true, readers do not want to trust their corporate sources of news. people don’t need more laud mouth propaganda masters in news room; the corporate TV media are already fulfilling that role. What they want is Newspaper at their door because there is still great faith in news print.
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