oppn parties 'Fake' Test For Credible Journalism

News Snippets

  • Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, referring to a spate of FIRs for putting up posters in Delhi which said "Modi Hatao, Desh Bachao", said that even the British did not act in such manner
  • The 2023-24 Appropriation BIll, which allows the government to spend Rs 45 lakh crore in the fiscal, was passed by Lok Sabha in 9 minutes without any discussion
  • Sources say that Amritpal Singh fled to Haryana and may now be in Uttarakhand
  • Experts say that Rahul Gandhi's disqualification from Parliament will kick in immediately as the conviction has not been stayed
  • Tatas to invest $2bn in super app Tata Neu
  • Chief Economic Advisor V Anantha Nageswaran has said that inflation will drop as commodity and food prices have fallen
  • Government will define quality norms to ensure better 5G service
  • Stocks tumble again on Thursday after two sessions of recovery: Sensex loses 289 points to 57925 and Nifty goes down by 75 points to 17076
  • Amicus curiae and senior advocate K V Vishwanathan has told the Supreme Court that the changes made in law and three extensions given to the present director of Enforcement Directorate are illegal and will imperil the integrity of the agency
  • Supreme Court says it cannot judicially direct the government to acquire land or buildings near the court for advocates' chambers
  • ISSF Cup shooting: Indian pair of Rhythm Sangwan and Varun Tomar win silver in 10m sir rifle mixed team event
  • WPL: UP Warriorz take on Mumbai Indians in the Eliminator today. The winner will play Delhi Capitals in the finals
  • World Boxing: Four Indians - Nikhat Zareen, Nitu Ghanghas, Lovelina Borgohain and Saweety Boora - enter the frinals in their respective category
  • Bombay HC imposes costs and dismisses a petition by a housing society that sought to have a community-wise cap on residents
  • Delhi Police files 159 FIRs for defacement of public property and 49 for posters saying 'Modi Hatao Desh Bachao'
Rahul Gandhi disqualified from Parliament, Wayanad Lok Sabha seat declared vacant
oppn parties
'Fake' Test For Credible Journalism

By Our Editorial Team
First publised on 2023-01-20 10:46:01

About the Author

Sunil Garodia The India Commentary view

Some parts of the draft Information Technology Rules that the government has put in public domain are likely to have an adverse effect on journalism as we know of it. The Rules require that the Press Information Bureau (PIB), a Central government agency, will decide what constitutes 'fake news' and once it decides so for a particular piece of news, it must be taken down. The government has also empowered its departments to authorize any other agency to check facts and declare a piece of news 'fake' if it pertains to any government department. The Editor's Guild of India has said that it will have the effect of gagging the media as it will give the government "a carte blanche to determine what is fake or not with respect to its own work".

If one sees it objectively, the government or its departments are best suited to know whether a piece of news emanating from its departments is genuine or fake. But that is not always the case as any government cherry picks news and dispenses only those items that project it in a good light. But the media has its sources (who often prefer anonymity) who give it inside information that may be critical of the government or its policies or disclose how a particular scheme has flopped. Credible news organizations have many layers of checks and do not publish any news item without solid verification. Over the ages, through self-regulation and standard practices, renowned media organizations have in place a system whereby mistakes are promptly acknowledged by issuing apologies, corrections, presenting the other side of the story or even withdrawing the item completely in some cases. Over and above this, the government has the option of issuing a denial which is published by these media organizations with due prominence. This system has been working well and there is no need to change it.

Fake news has been defined as false or misleading information presented as news. There are many online 'media' outlets that have been publishing such news without any verification. The idea is to sensationalize news to create controversy and grab eyeballs. Most often, these 'media' outlets are of dubious origin and are started with an agenda. There are many ways that the government can prosecute such outlets and it has in fact been doing so. But if the government now puts these Rules into practice for all media organizations, it will kill the freedom of the press and most news will then be published only from the handouts given by the PIB.