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Outrage over fake news amendment, govt withdraws the statement

03-April-2018
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Outrage over fake news amendment, govt withdraws the statement

Following massive outrage, government has withdrawn the press release on the Guidelines for Accreditation of Journalists, deciding to suspend the accreditation of journalists whoever would be involved in creating or propagating fake news, in less than 24 hours of it being issued. Sources in the industry say that the government is contemplating withdrawal of the amendment and a clearer picture is expected by late evening.

On Monday, in a decision was made to suspend the accreditation of journalists who would be involved in creating or propagating fake news. However, there seem to be loopholes in the 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,” said Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

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 and to News Broadcasters Association (NBA) if it relates to electronic media, for determination of the news item being fake or not.

As per the new guidelines, once creating or propagating of fake news by a correspondent or a journalist is determined by the regulating agencies, Press Council of India and News Broadcasters Association, the correspondent/journalist will have the accreditation suspended.

“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 second violation and in the event of third violation it would be cancelled permanently,” the new guideline read.

A time period of 15 days will be given to the regulating agencies for determination of the news item to be fake.

“The Accreditation Committee of the Press Information Bureau 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,” added the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

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