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Modi orders withdrawal of ‘fake news’ press release

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. File  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday directed that the press release on ‘fake news’ be withdrawn, and that the matter should be addressed only in the Press Council of India, according to sources in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Following this, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry withdrew the press release.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday tweeted, “PIB Accreditation Guidelines asking Press Council of India & News Broadcasters Association to define & act against ‘fake news’ have generated debate. Several journalists & organisations have reached out giving positive suggestions regarding the same.”

 

“.@MIB_India is more than happy to engage with journalist body or organisation/s wanting to give suggestions so that together we can fight the menace of ‘fake news’ & uphold ethical journalism. Interested journalists and/or organisations may feel free to meet me at @MIB_India,” she said.

As it happened

- Ms. Irani on Monday amended the guidelines for accreditation of journalists. Accreditation of a journalist (both television and print) can be cancelled/annulled if the news reported by him or her is found to be “fake,” said the Ministry. “Noticing the increasing instances of fake news in various mediums, including print and electronic media, the Government has amended the Guidelines for Accreditation of Journalists," a press note from the Ministry said.

- Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Sunday questioned the government’s attempt to check fake news, asking whether it was aimed at preventing journalists from reporting news uncomfortable to the establishment.

 

- “I appreciate the attempt to control fake news but few questions for my understanding: 1. What is guarantee that these rules will not be misused to harass honest reporters? 2. Who is going to decide what constitutes fake news? 3. Is it not possible that motivated complaints will be filed to suspend accreditation until enquiry is on? 4. What is guarantee that these guidelines will check fake news or is it an attempt to prevent genuine reporters from reporting news uncomfortable to establishment” he asked on Twitter.

- Many senior journalists too termed the government’s action an attack on the freedom of the press.

 


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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 8:03:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/modi-asks-fake-news-press-release-to-be-withdrawn/article23423454.ece

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