Journalists Could Lose Accreditation Permanently For Fake News


New Delhi: Journalists found guilty of writing or broadcasting “fake news” will have their accreditation withdrawn for a limited period or permanently, depending on the frequency of violations, the Union ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) announced on Monday, as India moved to crack down on the menace of fake news.

The ministry did not define “fake news” but said in a statement that all complaints of “fake news” would be referred for determination to the Press Council of India (PCI) for violations in print, and to the National Broadcasters Association (NBA) for violations on TV. The ministry’s statement didn’t mention digital media, although I&B minister Smriti Irani has previously said that the government would try and frame rules for that too.

The minister said a line of ethics and a code of conduct had to be put in place to ensure that customers do not get affected by vested views in news, broadcasting and advertorial content.

The efforts come even as governments around the world are figuring out ways to tackle fake news, especially in digital media. It is now widely believed that the Russians used fake news on Facebook to try and influence the outcome of the 2016 US election.