A week after Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar met representatives of OTT players, he met with representatives of top news providers on the new IT rules that lay down a regulatory mechanism for online content.
According to its statement, the I&B Ministry said Thursday that Javadekar informed representatives of Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA) that the IT (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 placed “certain responsibilities on digital news publishers” which include “adherence to Code of Ethics such as the norms of journalistic conduct framed by the Press Council of India and the Programme Code under the Cable Television Network Act”.
Javadekar reiterated that the rules provide for a three-tier grievance redressal mechanism of which the first and second tier would be of the digital news publishers and self-regulatory bodies constituted by them. The digital news publishers “would also be required to furnish some basic information to the Ministry in a simple form which is being finalised and periodically they would be required to place in public domain the grievance redressal undertaken by them”.
Javadekar mentioned that there are several entities which are only on the digital platform, and, accordingly, “the rules seek to cover the news on digital media so as to bring them at par with the traditional media”.
In a follow up to meeting with OTT platforms, held an interaction with Digital News Publishers Association today. Discussed the new rules for digital media. They welcomed the new rules and offered few suggestions which I have noted.@MIB_India @PIB_India
— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) March 11, 2021
Flagging convergence in their newsrooms, the DNPA said that there were a series of processes in their newsrooms to ensure fair and accurate information. They also said that TV news was under the purview of the National Broadcasting Standards Authority and print was subject to Press Council of India norms besides their own codes of ethics together with checks and balances in the newsrooms.
The participants, which included representatives of India Today, Dainik Bhaskar, Hindustan Times, The Indian Express, Times of India, ABP, Eenadu, Dainik Jagran, Lokmat, among others, stated that TV and news print media have been following the respective norms of print and TV regulations, for a very long time, the I&B statement said.
The I&B Ministry said that Javadekar thanked the participants for expressing their views and stated that the government will take note and continue with this consultative process. The DNPA said that it “made suggestions that preserve freedom of the press and emphasized that all its members are bound by – and follow – the regulations of Press Council of India and/or NBSA”.