I&B Minister: Exempting digital news content from ambit of Digital Media Rules 2021 can’t be acceded

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I&B Minister: Exempting digital news content from ambit of Digital Media Rules 2021 can’t be acceded
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The I&B ministry had denied the request of the traditional media and television media organisations for exempting their digital media arms from the regulations of Information Technology Rules 2021. The ministry has reasoned that the traditional media is already covered under these existing laws. As per the order on June 10th, which was published on Friday, the I&B minister Prakash Javadekar said, “The rationale for including digital news portals/websites for organizations having traditional news platforms under the ambit of Digital Media Rules 2021 is well reasoned. Making any exception of the nature proposed will be discriminatory to digital news publishers, who do not have a traditional TV/print platform.”

The Indian Newspaper Society and the News Broadcasters Association have written to Prakash Javadekar, I&B minister, for seeking exemption for the traditional print and TV news media as well as its digital branches. They argued that the traditional news media is already under sufficient regulation by various statutes, laws, guidelines and codes, regulations and judgments. 

The minister stated that since the traditional media platforms already follow the existing rules and regulations, that asking for their digital arms to follow the same would not be additional compliance. The code of ethics requires the digital platforms to follow the existing norms/content regulations, that are new for traditional print and TV media. 

As per the request for exempting the digital news content of such organizations, the minister has decided to not accede to such request. 

There is also an argument that newspapers are covered by the Press Council Act, but their news portals or websites are not covered under it. The order signed by Kshitij Aggarwal said, “Content also differ across traditional and digital platforms. Accordingly, portals and websites even of organizations having traditional newspapers will be covered under the said rules.”

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