Govt to crack down on fake news, cancel accreditation of journalists publishing it

Union Minister Information & Broadcasting Smriti Irani | PTI
Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting Smriti Irani | PTI

Centre proposes six months’ suspension for a first violation, one year for a second violation and permanent cancellation for a third violation.

New Delhi: The Centre is preparing to crack down on journalists publishing or propagating fake news. It plans to suspend and, for subsequent violations, even cancel the government press accreditation given to them if they publish/broadcast fake news.

An official statement from the information and broadcasting ministry Monday said the government had amended the ‘Guidelines for Accreditation of Journalists’, taking into account the rising instances of fake news across media, especially in newspapers and on TV channels.

The move, however, does not cover websites and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp which are often accused of publishing or spreading fake news.

The new procedure

As per the amended guidelines, any complaint received about fake news in the print media would be referred to the Press Council of India (PCI), while those pertaining to the electronic media would be sent to the News Broadcasters’ Association (NBA). These bodies will then determine if the item is indeed fake within 15 days.

In the meantime, the journalist who wrote or propagated the news item will have his or her accreditation suspended.

In case the news item is confirmed to be fake, the accreditation of the journalist concerned will be suspended for a period of six months for a first violation, and for one year in case of a second violation. For a third violation, the journalist will lose his or her accreditation permanently.

What govt accreditation means to journalists

Press Information Bureau (PIB) accreditation entitles journalists to several benefits, including access to government buildings and official functions.

The PIB has an accreditation committee that meets at regular intervals. The statement said if a news agency wants to put in accreditation requests for its journalists, it can reach out to this committee, which features representatives from the PCI and the NBA.

The regulatory agencies, while examining requests seeking accreditation, will also check if ‘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 regular functioning, the note said, adding that it would be obligatory for journalists to abide by these guidelines.

Incidentally, on Sunday, I&B minister Smriti Irani and several of her cabinet and party colleagues tweeted an article from a website which claimed to have busted four major fake news stories in a week.

31 COMMENTS

  1. Thats the best move, this will keep the so called prestitutes in control. Spreading hate and political agenda will not work now. Great move

  2. Very strange the government has soft corner for Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. These three agencies are working as a propaganda studio for government. WhatsApp is replete with propaganda videos and write-up of BJP .If there agencies are banned the climate and atmosphere of the country will be fine. Very soon we may have EMERGENCY in the country.

    • If you want corruption to be weeded out completely for the betterment of our future, then an emergency is imminent

    • Sir only one way out for this just take initiative for deleting the social media app from mobile and aware your circles about this… May be it’s work.

  3. What action would be taken against the media by not covering the Andolan done by Anna Hazare ji recently in Ramlila Ground. There was no much media.Why ? This rude behaviour is very serious just like fake news…

  4. Well done. This country has affected very badly by these culprit journalists/news agencies. The lawyers on dual roles, viz. Political leaders & lawyers in the courts of law as well, be made disqualified for practicing in the courts of law.

  5. It is a good decision. Now we are mostly fed with fake news by even reputed media. No checks and highly opinionated articles. There is need to cleanse the rot.

    • Mostly channel are owned by politicians. Now what will you do.. In that manner some opposes the bjp some to congress.. State level channel also includes in this..

  6. I have a dream that one day fake news websites like thewire, the quint, scroll and other similar anti-national propaganda channels will get banned and people will won’t get misinformation/propaganda in the name of “News” and “Opinion”.

  7. PCI & NBA given 15-dys time is too long. There shld be 2-Decisions fm them. 1st Primary, if found Fake, imm suspension within 48 Hrs n 2nd Final decision in a week, if found Fake finally, then 1st suspension of 6-Months…

  8. Lets admit, fake news is a malaise in these times but introducing more laws is not a solution and is highly prone to misuse. It will tantamount to curing one malaise by ushering in another. We need to strengthen the existing regulatory framework or bring in an independent/autonomous body to make it effective.

  9. Madam Irani

    Please include another rule that if any media publishes a provocating news which could lead to violence in the country will be punished in a similar manner.

    Thanks

    • Noting will be change in our system we all have to take part in this for change this… These all are the artificial face of our system

    • Every movie realiase than what’s the news channel do.. You have know all that noting is going on they all are the sub partially face of the this game.. Of power

  10. No problem may be possible to solve if thinking is not correctly. It’s really dangerous for the fake news are delivered among the people. The environment of work is disrupted. So really punishment is justified. FAKE NEWS ARE IN USA. THEY HAVE TAKEN PROMT ACTION. GOD BLESS ALL.

  11. The government has made a very good decision. Some of the journalist do not think of what will happen after they have published news. They are so much into business that they forget their ethics so I think this will help them stick to their ethics. They are important but use is badly sometimes. I think all the media be put eye on be selected because all of them make the same mistake.

  12. Definitely there should be a crackdown on fake news as it’s spread a negative impression on the minds of so called minorities .etc .Some of the channels owned by and control by the so called intellectual political parties should be brought to knees .news created for trp ratings also creates violence and loss on account of this .

  13. ha ha ha….What a joke !!
    Complaint about so called ‘news channels’ will be sent to NBA ??
    The bloody body is defunct and toothless.
    And why is news not allowed on pvt FM radio channels ? Cause radiowaves are cheap.They can be bought by an ‘unfriendly’ and non compliant group of people.
    This dubious and defunct govt needs a kick.
    It was first fighting to keep article 66a of Info tech act.Then it was fighting to take away right to privacy.
    Thieves in the temple.

  14. Yes now those few journalists who dont sing along Modi and Yogi tunes will be banned and every news channel will in tune with modi and yogi. One step more towards dictatorship

  15. Any law trying to contol immense power of media is always suspected to be curb the freedom of the fourth estate. The new law of Cancellation of accreditation for fake news is also seen in the same prospect. But with the upcoming of social media the chances of publishing fake news is real cause of concern for mainstream media. As these day journalists are gathering news through new media technology and sometimes fail to verify its credibility that may lead to the publishing of fake news. Some news channels deliberately publish news that are fake. The channels owned by political parties can never be seen as presenting news with proper journalistic ethics and professional guidelines. So those journalists who are true to their professional values need not to worry.

  16. Good move. We have had enough of these fakes floating around for too long. Those who call themselves journalists must adhered to the norm that “news is sacred, comment is free”

  17. Fox guarding the chicken coop. The government can then deem any news showing it in bad light as ‘fake’. Dumb move that can easily be described as self-service. Instead make the publishing of fake news a criminal offense that cover the journalist and publisher. Have the courts decide if guilty! May take time but at least can be seen as impartial.

  18. Good and healthy decision.butsame rules and regulations for registered politicians ur govt have to apply…mostly politicians speak fake in front of people..then as per human rights law why not taken action including PM also..lots of fek talks in his speach then they are in election campian..rules will be same imoliment in democrasy..I direct blame to સ્મૃતિ ઈરાની also.why not u and pm declare ur education certificate in front of RTI and Indian people….mostly politicians are lie talk and promise to constituents in his constituency….first u HV to appear for politicians against law then after u HV to take any decisions against journalist…editor always understand his duty and find out the fact news and publish for the knowledge of Indian people..I hope u HV no direct right to talk like of that types of steps.becoz news paper organization is independent body under the president of India…

  19. 100 PERCENT CORRECT DECISION..PROBLEM IN INDIA IS THAT IF ANYBODY HONESTLY DOING GOOD FOR THE COUNTRY THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WOULD RAISE VOICE AGAINST THEM…
    AND WHY SHOULD PRESS WOULD PUBLISH OR CREATE NEWS ..TO RAISE IT TRP..MOST OF THEM HAS NO TRUTH IN IT …
    IF WE GENERAL PEOPLE COMMENT TO TARNISH IMAGE OF SOMEONE OUT OF JEALOUSY WE WILL BE PUNISHED FOR DEFAMATION SO WHY NOT PRESS?THEY ARE NO GOD..IF I WILL BE THE PM I WILL STOP GIVING LICENSE TO SO MANY NEWS CHANNEL CROPING UP NOW A DAYS…MOST OF THEM HAD NO NEWS TO SHARE EXCEPT SHOWING KISKI GHAR MEIN KAUN MURDER KAR DI….AND TAKING INTERVIEW OF POOR IGNORANT VILLAGERS…NEWSPSPAPER AND SOME GOOD CHANNELS ARE ENOUGH TO GIVE US GOOD NEWS.

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