Skip to main content

New Govt of India panel to "regulate" news portals, online content, infotainment media, digital broadcasting

By Our Representative
Following the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) “decision” to withdraw a circular issued by the Information & Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry seeking suspension or cancellation of media accreditation issued to journalists if found guilty of fake news, the Government of India is all set to work out new ways to “regulate” media. This time, however, the focus is on digital media.
If the PMO intervention on what was supposed to be a clampdown on fake news came close on the heels of uproar among journalists against the circular, in a fresh order, the News Media Cell of the I&B Ministry has constituted a “committee for framing regulations for online media, news portals and online content.”
The order, dated April 4, a day after the PMO acted against the I&B circular, says that the “content telecast on private satellite TV channels and transmitted/re-transmitted through the Cable TV are regulated” under the Programme and Advertisement Codes prescribed under the Cable Television Networks (CTN) (Regulation) Act, 1995 and the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994.
It says, “TV channels are required to adhere to the Programme & Advertising Codes mentioned in the CTN ACT and there exists a well-settled mechanism for dealing with any violations thereof. Similarly, there is an autonomous body, Press Council of India (PCI), which has its own norms to regulate the print media.”
However, it regrets, as “there are no norms or guidelines to regulate the online media websites and news portals including digital broadcasting like entertainment/infotainment & news/ media aggregators”, a newly-constituted committee would “frame and suggest a regulatory framework for online media/ news portals, including digital broadcasting and entertainment/ infotainment sites and news/ media aggregators.”
To be chaired by secretary, l&B as convener, other members on the committee include secretaries of the Ministry of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of Home Affairs, Department of Legal Affairs, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP); CEO of the MyGov programme, a citizen engagement platform of the Government of India; and representatives of the Press Council of India (PCI) the National Board of Accreditation (NBA), and Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF).
The new Govt of India order
The order gives the I&B Ministry secretary the power to include as members “any other Department/ organisation deemed fit”.
The order’s Terms of Reference (TOR) are three-fold. First of all, it seeks to “delineate the sphere of online information dissemination which needs to be brought under regulation, on the lines applicable for print and electronic media”.
Secondly, it would “recommend appropriate policy formulation for online media/ news portals and online content platforms, including digital broadcasting, which encompasses entertainment/ infotainment & news/ media aggregators, keeping in mind the extant FDI norms, Programme & Advertising Code for TV channels, norms circulated by PCI, code of ethics framed by NBA and norms prescribed by IBF.
And finally, it would “analyse the international scenario on such existing regulatory mechanisms with a view to incorporate the best practices.”
Keen media analysts say, the order suggests that under scanner would be not just online portals, which have acquired a strong anti-establishment stance, but even online social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Youtube, and blogging platforms.
Meanwhile, a media report says that the Press Information Bureau, the Government of India’s nodal body for official communication, is working on a new proposal to track the movement of journalists at government buildings and offices through radio-frequency identification (RFID) cards.
While RFID cards are voluntarily given to journalists in Gujarat, considered a “model” state by Prime Minister Narendra Modi all his moves, there are indications that these would replace the current accreditation cards issued by PIB to those covering the Government of India.
According to the report, PIB wrote to the Union home ministry in January asking if the accreditation cards it issues to journalists could be replaced with RFID cards and the home ministry is said to be “considering the proposal”.

Comments

Hemant Shah said…
Horrible....
Oppose this...
Anonymous said…
No surprise
Anonymous said…
This govt is on suicide path.
Anonymous said…
Now media will stop criticising Indira Gandhi for emergency days. It was temporary, this may be permanent 😊
Anonymous said…
Now I know what a police state is. We will soon have our own Gulag

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.