Ministry of Information and Broadcast on Tuesday withdrew the decision over the cancellation of journalist accreditation on Fake News. The decision changed after the PM Narendra Modi raised the concern over the order in the wake of protests by journalists and Media organizations.
On Monday, the government said that the accreditation of a Journalist could be permanently cancelled if they are found generating any kinds of fake news.
The amended guidelines state that fake news complaints will be referred to the Press Council of India and/or News Broadcasters Association and the accreditation of that journalist will be suspended for fifteen days. If the fake news concerns to print media, it would be referred to the Press Council Of India and for fake news related to electronic media would be referred to News Broadcasters Association.
Informing about the new guidelines, Ms Smriti Irani, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, also added that since PCI and NBA are not operated or regulated by the Government of India, there would be no direct intervention from the Government.
If the news item is confirmed to be fake by any of these two authorities i.e. PCI and NBA, the accreditation of that journalise will be suspended for six months if it is his/her first offence. Any repeated offence would result in suspension for one year. In case of a third violation by the same journalist, his/her accreditation would be permanently cancelled.
For the determination of the news content being fake or not, the process would have to be completed within 15 days by these agencies. The accreditation committee of the Press Information Bureau (PIB) which consist the representative of both agencies Press Council Of India (PCI) and the News Broadcast Association (NBA) would be reached out for validating any accreditation request.
It would be obligatory for journalists to abide by these guidelines announced by the Ministry.
There are mixed reactions from the journalists of various media houses and publications. While some have welcomed the change, lot many are opposing it fearing its misuse.