I&B Sets Up Panel to Frame Regulations for Online News Portals (Download PDF)

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I & B ministry has decided to constitute committee to frame rules to regulate news portals & media websites. There are no norms or guidelines to regulate online media websites & news portals.

Image of most popular news properties in India

Image of Most Popular News Properties in India

Image of most popular news properties in India

Terms for New Committee

Terms of reference of committee are vague & it is difficult to ascertain its scope. How active this committee will be & its repercussions remain to be seen.

  • Govt. -appointed committee should “frame & suggest regulatory framework for online media/news portals, including digital broadcasting & entertainment/infotainment sites & news/media aggregators.

  • Ministry has appointed 10-member committee comprising secretaries of ministries of I&B, law, home, electronics & IT, & department of industrial policy & promotion.

  • Members include chief executive of MyGov, & representatives of Press Council of India, News Broadcasters Association & Indian Broadcasters Federation.

  • Create “proactive policy which upholds right to free speech, but at same time doesn’t give anyone right to instigate riot. That is where balance has to be found”.

Image of Importance of an Online News Portal

Image of Importance of an Online News Portal

Image of Importance of an Online News Portal

  • Committee’s mandate was to “delineate sphere of online information dissemination which needs to be brought under regulation, on lines applicable for print & electronic media”.

  • Committee is asked to recommend “appropriate policy formulation” for online media, news portal & online content platforms.

Image of online news portal solves several purposes

Image of Online News Portal Solves Several Purposes

Image of online news portal solves several purposes

  • On 1st look, there are too many members of govt. & there isn’t any representation from segment it hopes to regulate.
  • Move comes close after ministry issued press release threatening cancellation of accreditation of journalists, who are found to be guilty of “disseminating or propagating” fake news.
  • Ministry had to withdraw its statement very next day after PM ordered it to do so, in wake of massive outrage over ministry’s move to penalise journalists for running fake news.
  • While Press Council of India (PCI) is regulatory body for print media, News Broadcasters Association (NBA) & Broadcast Content Complaint Council are self-regulatory bodies for news channels & entertainment channels respectively.
  • Online media are unregulated in India, so far, even as country witnessed significant rise in number of such websites.
  • “There is no norms or guidelines to regulate online media & news portals including digital broadcasting. It is decided to constitute committee to frame & suggest regulatory framework for online media/news portals including digital broadcasting & entertaining/infotainment sites/media aggregator, ” ministry said in notification on April 4.
  • It will recommend appropriate policy formulation for online media, “keeping in mind the extant FDI (foreign direct investment) norms. “
  • To come up w/its regulations, panel is asked to analyse “international scenario” on existing regulatory mechanism for online media “w/view to incorporate best practices. “

- Published/Last Modified on: August 14, 2018

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