The new Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code Rules, 2021 released by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is aimed at covering the news on Digital Media on par with the traditional media, said the Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar.
Revealing this to a delegation comprising representatives of Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA) during a virtual interaction with them in New Delhi today, the Union Minister informed that the new rules placed certain responsibilities on digital news publishers. These include adherence to the 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. Further to redress grievances of citizens the rules have provided 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 the public domain the grievance redressal undertaken by them, he said.
The Minister stated that print media and TV channels have digital versions whose content is almost the same as that on the traditional platforms. However, there are contents that appear exclusively on the digital platform. This apart there are several entities that are only on the digital platform and they need to be brought into the orbit of traditional media, he clarified.
The participants while welcoming the new rules stated that TV and newsprint media have been following the laid down norms of the Cable Television Network Act and the Press Council Act for a very long time. Further for publishing the digital versions, the publishers do follow the existing norms of the traditional platforms. They felt that they should be treated differently than those news publishers who are only on the digital platform.
The representatives of Digital Publishers Association include India Today, Dainik Bhaskar, Hindustan Times, Indian Express, Times of India, ABP, Eenadu, Dainik Jagran, Lokmat, etc.