Digital news publishers get 15 days to share details as per new IT guidelines

Updated on May 28, 2021 01:30 AM IST

While digital news media publishers aren’t required to be registered with the ministry, the government has asked for information about their grievance redressal officer in India, the self-regulating body of which the publisher is a member, and the details of the editor.

The contentious new guidelines were notified by the government on May 25, establishing a three-tier self-regulatory system for OTT platforms.(Bloomberg file photo)
The contentious new guidelines were notified by the government on May 25, establishing a three-tier self-regulatory system for OTT platforms.(Bloomberg file photo)
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The ministry of information and broadcasting has set a 15-day deadline for digital news media publishers, including websites of legacy media houses, and over-the-top (OTT) platforms like Netflix and Hotstar, to share details under the new social media and digital ethics rules. This has caused some concern among publishers who fear free and fair reporting may be impacted by these new regulations.

While digital news media publishers aren’t required to be registered with the ministry, the government has asked for information about their grievance redressal officer in India, the self-regulating body of which the publisher is a member, and the details of the editor.

“A total of around 60 publishers, and their associations, have also informed the ministry that they have already initiated the process of formation of self-regulatory bodies under the rules. Some publishers have also written to the ministry regarding registration with the ministry under the rules,” a ministry notice said.

The contentious new guidelines were notified by the government on May 25, establishing a three-tier self-regulatory system for OTT platforms. It also requires the streaming services to categorise content and use different ratings to specify its appropriateness for different age groups. At the apex of the three-tier system will be an interministerial panel headed by an authorised officer of the ministry. This panel can ban content it finds violative of Section 69(A) of the IT Act.

On Thursday, the News Broadcasters Association wrote to I&B minister Prakash Javadekar, seeking exemption for traditional media publishers.

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