New Delhi: PMO directs I&B ministry to leave decission of fake news on press bodies on Tuesday. As PMO upholds PCI & NBA. With a motive to arrest fake news and false stories in media, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry under Union Minister Smriti Irani has decided to suspend the accreditation of journalists creating fake news till the time the regulating authorities determine the outcome of the case pertaining to such news items. The new guidelines, which have been framed months ahead of the 2019 General Elections, have been issued by the ministry after “noticing the increasing instances of fake news in various mediums including print and electronic media”. A press release issued by the I&B Ministry said that the determination is expected to take 15 days. The move has not been welcomed by journalists and media organisations as many have viewed the move as an attempt to “muzzle” journalists.
“The Government has amended the Guidelines for Accreditation of Journalists. Now on receiving any complaints of such instances of fake news, the same would get referred to the Press Council of India (PCI) if it pertains to print media & to News Broadcasters Association (NBA) if it relates to electronic media, for determination of the news item is fake or not,” the release has said. “Determination is expected to be completed within 15 days by these regulating agencies. Once the complaint is registered for determination of fake news, the correspondent/journalist whoever created and/or propagated the fake news will, if accredited, have the accreditation suspended till such time the determination regarding the fake news is made by the regulating agencies mentioned above,” the release further said.
Smriti Irani tweets:
.@MIB_India is more than happy to engage with journalist body or organisation/s wanting to give suggestions so that together we can fight the menace of ‘fake news’ & uphold ethical journalism. Interested journalists and/or organisations may feel free to meet me at @MIB_India. 2/2
— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) April 3, 2018
The Accreditation Committee of the PIB which consists of a representative of both PCI and NBA shall be invariably be reached out to for validating any accreditation request of any news media agency. While any confirmation of publication or telecast of fake news having been confirmed by any of these agencies, the accreditation shall be suspended for a period of 6 months in the first violation and for one year in the case of 2nd violation and in the event of 3rd violation it would be canceled permanently. While examining the requests seeking accreditation, the regulatory agencies will examine whether the `Norms of Journalistic Conduct’ and `Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards’ prescribed by the PCI and NBA respectively are adhered to by the journalists as part of their functioning. It would be obligatory for journalists to abide by these guidelines- the release stated.