Coming out as a recent development in the ‘fake news’ case where the Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I&B) had issued a press release stating that a journalist’s accreditation be suspended if found circulating fake news, The Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office has issued new directives to the I&B Ministry asking them to withdraw the memo issued. Reports suggested that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed that the press release regarding fake news be withdrawn and the matter should only be addressed in Press Council of India.
Reportedly, the press release issued by the broadcasting ministry had drawn widespread criticism following which PM Modi’s office had directed the withdrawal of the guidelines. Apart from scrapping the newly issued guidelines, the PMO further said that all the issues pertaining to fake news or propagandas be only addressed by Press Council of India (PCI) which is the regulatory body for print journalism. The Following directives by PMO came in just a few minutes after Smriti Irani took to her Twitter handle and said that the I7B Ministry is ‘more than happy to engage with journalists who want to check with fake news’.
The following developments come to light just a few hours after the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) headed by Union Minister Smriti Irani stated that the accreditation of a journalist spreading the fake news will be suspended. As per the directive, a journalist’s accreditation will be suspended for be suspended for 6 months for a first violation, one year for second and will be permanently cancelled in case of third violation. The statement by the I&B Ministry said that 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.