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“Define an anti-national stance; Introduce Laws to Fight Fake News’: House Committee | Latest India News


From finding a definition of what constitutes an “anti-national” stance, to asking the Union’s Department of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) to look into a better system for assessing television rating points, to introducing specific anti-national laws From Fake News, the parliamentary body on Information and Technology (IT) has recommended a series of reforms for both traditional and digital media platforms, people familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

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The panel, led by Congressman Shashi Tharoor, believes that “it is serious business that the media, which was once the most trustworthy weapon in the hands of citizens in our democracy and acted as trustees of the public interest, are gradually becoming” Losing credibility and integrity when values ​​and morals are compromised ”, one of the recommendations does not want to be mentioned.

The report is due to be presented in Parliament’s winter session, which begins on November 29th.

Topics raised in the report include cases of media code of conduct violations in the form of paid news, fake news, TRP manipulation, media litigation, sensationalism, and biased reporting. “(These) have questioned their (media) credibility in people’s minds, which is not a good sign for healthy democracy. A healthy democracy thrives on public participation, which can only be achieved through the dissemination of correct information through responsible media, ”added the person.

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The report commends the government for introducing new social media and intermediary guidelines, but has also sought feedback from the I&B ministry on how well the goals of their introduction have been met.

“The committee hopes that these guidelines will go a long way in regulating digital media content and that both ministries will work coherently and together to ensure that the code of ethics is also followed by digital media,” the person said.

The panel was also informed that discussions are ongoing on the introduction of an umbrella statute for the media sector for print, electronic and online platforms. The matter is being examined. The Union government is considering an umbrella law for all traditional and digital media companies to ensure a level playing field, HT reported on August 17th. The law aims to print and electronic media, digital media, cinema, even so-called over-the-top or OTT platforms such as Netflix and Hotstar.

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The committee also noted persistent concerns about fake news in some newspapers. “However, the Committee notes with its greatest concern that the erring newspapers tend to repeat the same mistakes even after being reprimanded by the Press Council of India (PCI) until the Bureau of Outreach and Communication (BOC) takes action . withhold government advertisements for that particular newspaper for a period of time, as per Government of India guidelines, ”the person said.

In 2016, 2017 and 2020, a total of 105 cases were censored by the PCI, of which 73 cases resulted in a suspension by the BOC. The committee would expect the Department / PCI to strengthen the PCI enforcement mechanism so that all of its orders are followed, ”the person said. It has also suggested widening the PCI’s membership to include people from more than one state in order to ensure fair representation.

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The panel, said the person quoted above, has also been informed by the PCI that the media panel has received several complaints against electronic media but no action has been taken as it does not fall within their remit It is advisable, for the entire media, ie newspapers and magazines in print or other form, e-newspapers, news portals, social media and any other platform for news distribution besides electronic media, to set up something “parallel (to PCI)”. The PCI has recommended that the government enact a single law to cover all of the above media in accordance with the Press Council Act of 1978, “the person said.

Referring to Rule 6 (1) (e) of the Cable Network Rules, 2014, which prohibits the broadcast of anything that, among other things, encourages “anti-national attitudes”, the Panel proposed that the term be given a broad definition to remove any ambiguity in the design.

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The Parliamentary Committee has also expressed its dissatisfaction with the current system for measuring TRPs and has drawn the Ministry’s attention to “recent reported cases of tampering with TRPs by some television stations tampering with the equipment used by BARC”. “This has challenged the objectivity, accuracy, effectiveness and transparency of the current system and clearly shows how ratings can be tampered with by some channels in consultation with BARC officials. The committee takes this seriously, but wants the department to look into the whole process of the TRP system and find a solution for a more transparent and accountable system for measuring TRPs, ”the person said.


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