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New guidelines for accreditation of Journalists withdrawn: I&B Ministry

4/3/2018

New Delhi, Following the protests over the guidelines issued by the Information and Broadcasting Minister on Monday for curbing 'fake news', the Government on Tuesday announced that the release stands withdrawn. 'PIB Press release titled “Guidelines for Accreditation of Journalists amended to regulate Fake News” issued on 2 April 2018 stands withdrawn,' a release by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry said. In a press note issued on Monday, the Ministry had said that In an attempt to curb the increasing instances of fake news in various mediums including print and electronic media, the Government had amended the Guidelines for Accreditation of Journalists wherein such cases 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. The amended guidelines stipulated that the journalist whoever created and/or propagated the fake news will, if accredited, would have the accreditation suspended till such time the determination regarding the fake news is made by the regulating agencies. '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 Ministry statement said. The Ministry said that 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 ministry said. The guidelines by the Ministry had caused a lot of uproar among media organisations with the press organisations threatening to launch protests against the move, which thy described as attemopt to muzzle the press.

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