The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has withdrawn it arbitrary rules regarding Fake News after receiving much condemnation from journalists and media. Will the new set of rules be democratic?
The New Leam Staff
The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has been forced to withdraw the set of rules that it brought forward yesterday in the context of dealing with Fake News. The rules had got a great criticism from many journalists and media as they claimed that this would deny the press any freedom.
The rules that had been put forward earlier had punitive measures for journalists who spread fake news and the cancellation of his/her accreditation in case they created fake news. The opposition and journalists condemned the rules and said that it would deny the press any freedom before the elections in 2019.
After the withdrawal of the guidelines, the IB Minister Smriti Irani has said that the government is open to decisions and suggestions by the journalist community to handle the issue of fake news.
Yesterday, the ministry had said that the Press Council of India and News Broadcasters Association, the regulatory bodies accountable for print and television media will determine if a news is fake or not.
The I&B Minister stated that both these bodies were not regulated and operated by the government, her Ministry’s statement was the one that defined the punishment and left both the definition of fake news and the nature of the complaint undetermined.
The Editor’s Guild of India has said that the rules were created in a way that they would muzzle with the press. They stated that these rules were arbitrary. They also said that if these rules were in place they would deny journalism its dignity.
The rules that had been put forward earlier have received great criticism and the government has withdrawn them. In a democracy it is significant that the Press performs its role with sincerity.
The issue of fake news has to be dealt with in a democratic manner and it should be seen that honest journalism does not get denied because of that.