Over 1,800 news portals shared compliance details: Govt officials
More than 1,800 digital news websites have shared details of their compliance with the new social media and intermediary guidelines, ministry officials familiar with the matter said, even as the government reached out only to 1,200 such digital publications.
“The response has been overwhelming,” the official said. “Regional digital news media websites are grateful that they are being recognised. More and more are alerting the ministry regarding their compliance every day,” this person added
The official said this will enable the government to create a repository of all digital news media platforms. The compliance, however, does not amount as a certification with the central government, the official clarified. “All 40 over the top platforms, including Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, have also complied with the guidelines,” the official said.
The ministry is working on extending certain benefits, such as a Press Information Bureau accreditation for reporters, cameramen, videographers, to enable them with better first-hand information and access including participation in official press conferences and interactions.
These are currently available only to traditional media (print and TV).
The new intermediary and digital media guidelines require platforms to appoint officers, grievance redressal officers in case of OTT and digital news media platforms, institute a three-tier mechanism for grievance redressal with an inter-ministerial committee at its apex, and give the I&B ministry takedown powers over the content circulated online.
The rules, which were notified in February, have been challenged in the court by several digital news media outfits, including LiveLaw and TheWire.
While there is no requirement for the digital news media publishers to be registered with the ministry, information pertaining to their grievance redressal officer in India, self-regulating body of which the publisher is a member, and the details of the editor were sought by the ministry on May 26. Similar information has been sought from the video streaming services, with details of the content manager in place of the editor.
The News Broadcasters Federation, which consists of 78 news channels in 14 languages, representing broadcasters from 25 States, said that they have complied with the rules.
In a notification dated June 10, the ministry said digital arms of traditional media houses would not be exempt from furnishing the details under the new rules.