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Congress questions Centre's move to combat fake news

Congress questions Centre's move to combat fake news

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 03 Apr 2018, 08:48 am

New Delhi, Apr 3 (IBNS): The Congress has questioned the Centre's latest attempt to check fake news and asked if there was any guarantee that the 'rules' will not be misused to harass honest reporters.

Congress leader Ahmed Patel also questioned that which body will decide the constitutes fake news.

Patel tweeted: "I appreciate the attempt to control fake news but few questions for my understanding: 1.What is guarantee that these rules will not be misused to harass honest reporters? 2.Who is going to decide what constitutes fake news ?."

"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?," he said.

In a bid to fight against the menace, the government on Monday said the accreditation of a scribe might be permanently cancelled in case the journalist is found generating or propagating fake news.

Noticing the increasing instances of fake news in various mediums including print and electronic media, the Government has amended the Guidelines for Accreditation of Journalists.

"Now on receiving any complaints of such instances of fake news, the same would get referred to the Press Council of India (PCI) if it pertains to print media & to News Broadcasters Association (NBA) if it relates to electronic media, for determination of the news item being fake or not," read a government statement.

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," read the statement.

The Accreditation Committee of the PIB which consists of representative of both PCI and NBA shall be invariably be 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.

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.