Prime minister orders I&B to withdraw guidelines on fake news

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, has directed the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to withdraw its order which stated that if a journalist was found to have “created and/or propagated” fake news, the scribe’s accreditation would be suspended or permanently cancelled, adding that the matter should only be addressed in the Press Council of India.

The decision comes after the I&B Ministry’s amendment created a furore in the media, with journalists slamming the move to impinge upon the independence of the press.

Once a complaint is registered for “determination of fake news,” the Ministry’s order had said, the accreditation of the journalist who “created and/or propagated the fake news” will be “suspended till such time the determination regarding the fake news is made by the regulating agencies”. In a press release issued on Monday evening, the I&B Ministry said that the Press Council of India and News Broadcasters Association (NBA), the two regulatory bodies for print and television media respectively, would determine whether the news was fake or not.

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