Journalists Propagating Fake News Will Now Risk Losing Accreditation As IB Ministry Amends Guidelines

Journalists Propagating Fake News Will Now Risk Losing Accreditation As IB Ministry Amends Guidelines

Journalists propagating fake news will now risk losing their accreditation as the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting amended the guidelines for accreditation of journalists to regulate fake news and expressly stated that any request for accreditation will be granted only if journalistic ethics have been adhered to.

Now, any complaint of fake news will be referred to the Press Council of India (PCI) if it pertains to print media and to the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) if it relates to electronic media, for determination of the news item being fake or not.

The determination of veracity will be done in 15 days and till such time, the journalist who propagated the news in question would have his accreditation suspended.

“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…,” the Ministry said in a release.

The Accreditation Committee of the PIB which consists of the representative of both PCI and NBA shall be invariably reached out to for validating any accreditation request of any news media agency.

“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 2nd violation and in the event of 3rd violation it would be cancelled permanently,” it added.

Accreditation only if journalistic ethics code adhered to

The Ministry made it clear that requests for accreditation will be guided by adherence to journalistic ethics.

“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,” it said.

Read the Press Release Here