The Union Government on April 3, 2018 revoked its earlier order of permanently cancelling the accreditation of a journalist if the person was found generating or propagating fake news.
The amended guidelines for the accreditation of journalists, which stated that if a publication or telecast of fake news is confirmed, then the accreditation of the journalist responsible for it will be suspended for a period of six months in the first violation, for one year in case of a second violation and permanently cancelled in case of a third violation, stand withdrawn.
How was the government planning to identify fake news?
To determine whether a news item is fake or not, any complaint of instances of fake news would have been referred to the Press Council of India (PCI) if it related to print media and to the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) if it related to the electronic media.
The concerned agencies would then have had to complete their examination of the news within 15 days and determine whether it is fake or not.
Once the complaint is registered for determination of fake news, the accreditation of the journalist, who created or propagated the news, would have been suspended till the determination regarding the fake news is made.
The Accreditation Committee of the Press Information Bureau (PIB), which consists of representatives of both the PCI and the NBA, would be reached out for validating any accreditation request of any news media agency.
While examining the accreditation requests, the regulatory agencies would check whether the Norms of Journalistic Conduct' and Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards', prescribed by the PCI and NBA respectively, are being followed by the journalists.
It would be obligatory for journalists to abide by these guidelines.