Government forced to withdraw “Guidelines for accreditation of Journalists amended to regulate Fake News”
New Delhi: Confronted with massive condemnation and anger that swept across the journalistic fraternity against a decision of the Central Government that was being viewed as an attempt to gag the media, the Union Ministry of Information and Boardcasting was today compelled to issue a statement to announce that “Guidelines for accreditation of Journalists amended to regulate Fake News” issued on Monday (2 April 2018) stand withdrawn.
On Monday, the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had issued the following guidelines:
“Noticing the increasing instances of fake news in various mediums including print and electronic media, 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 being fake or not.
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 Accreditation Committee of the PIB which consists of 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 2 nd violation and in the event of 3rd violation it would be cancelled permanently.
While examining the requests seeking accreditation, the regulatory agencies will examine whether the
Norms of Journalistic Conduct’ andCode 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.”