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

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

Women innovators on simple, revolutionary alternate solutions for water problems

By Proshakha Maitra, Mansee Bal Bhargava* The detrimental effects of uncontrolled population rise and accelerated change in the global climate have posed tremendous pressure on the water and sanitation. This calls all stakeholders, from both developed and developing nations, to improve their resilience and to instigate sustainability. It is more crucial than ever to optimise the use of the resources we have on hand since the world population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.

Alleged killing of another Bangladesh youth inside Indian territory: NHRC inquiry sought

By Kirity Roy* There was yet another incident of the killing of a Bangladeshi youth by the Border Security Force personnel attached with ‘Barthar’ BOP of ‘G’ Company of 75 BSF Battalion. In last five years several incidents of killings happened under this police station’s jurisdiction and the cases will get the award as “Not Guilty” as usual.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Modi model, Hindutva icon 'justified' alliance with Muslim League before Independence

By Shamsul Islam*  Our PM describes himself as ‘Hindu’ nationalist and member of RSS. He proudly shares the fact that he was groomed to be a political leader by one of the two fathers of the Hindutva politics, MS Golwalkar (the other being VD Savarkar) and given the task of establishing Hindutva polity in India after eradicating secularism.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Crusader for people’s causes, this Hollywood actor entered 'unexplored zones' in US

By Harsh Thakor*  Marlon Brando on April 3rd completes his birth centenary. He perished in 2004, on July 1, aged 80 years. Arguably in Hollywood Brando penetrated sensitivity and versatility at an unparalleled scale and discovered new horizons or explored path breaking zones in acting.

Nuclear power expansion: Is AEC's new, 'unrealistic' target fully backed by PMO?

By Shankar Sharma*  Another unrealistic and tall claim by Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) has been announced: India is eyeing 100 GW nuclear power by 2047, the AEC chairman  AK Mohanty   has said. A few years ago, the dream target for the Indian nuclear establishment was 275,000 MWe of nuclear power by 2050 (as per DAE document of 2008 "A Strategy for the Growth of Electricity in India”). Now this target of 100 GW nuclear power by 2047. And as at the end of February 2024, the actual nuclear power capacity was only 7,480 MWe, which formed only 1.7% of the total power capacity in the country. 

How huge crowd at Mukhtar Ansari funeral is comparable to BJP's 'people's court' talk

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  The massive crowd at the funeral of Mukhtar Ansari in Mohammadabad reflects the power and influence that his family wields in the area. One can't deny that he had enormous power in Ghazipur and Mau districts. But the crowd that came and chanted slogans in his favour does not exonerate him of his conviction by the court.  It is important that we understand this. 

'Critical for cultural and ecological security': Ladakh women seek statehood, self-rule

By Our Representative Six Ladakhi women from different organisations in the region, who concluded their 10 day fast, have told an online press conference that it is necessary to provide statehood to Ladakh, even as declaring the region under the 6th schedule, for “deepening democracy, preserving ecology, and for survival.” Feminists across India joined the media meet in solidarity with the Ladakh movement “for 6th schedule, statehood and justice.”