New Delhi: The Prime Minister’s Office today ordered the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to withdraw its press release on fake news and said the decision on what amounts to fake news should be left to bodies such the Press Council of India, official sources said.
According to official sources, the PMO felt that the government should not interfere in the matter.
I&B ministry has now withdrawn its guidelines to regulate fake news, according to an official statement.
The ministry had yesterday announced measures to contain fake news, saying a journalist’s accreditation could be permanently cancelled if he or she is found generating or propagating fake news.
According to the amended guidelines for the accreditation of journalists, if the publication or telecast of fake news was confirmed, the accreditation of that journalist would be suspended for six months in the first violation and for one year in case of a second violation. In case of a third violation, his or her accreditation would be cancelled permanently, the ministry said in the release.
According to the PMO, any decision on the fake news should be taken by bodies like the Press Council of India and the News Broadcasters Association, official sources said. Smriti Irani was still trying to engage with journalists just a few hours ago.
.@MIB_India is more than happy to engage with journalist body or organisation/s wanting to give suggestions so that together we can fight the menace of ‘fake news’ & uphold ethical journalism. Interested journalists and/or organisations may feel free to meet me at @MIB_India. 2/2
— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) April 3, 2018
Congress leader Ahmed Patel was the first one to pose questions about the efficacy of fake news circular in a late night post.
3. Is it not possible that motivated complaints will be filed to suspend accreditation until enquiry is on?
4.What is guarantee that these guidelines will check fake news or is it an attempt to prevent genuine reporters from reporting news uncomfortable to establishment?
— Ahmed Patel (@ahmedpatel) April 2, 2018