Ex-SC Judge Madan Lokur Part of DIGIPUB’s New Content Review Body
DIGIPUB News India Foundation announced the foundation of a new independent association for reviewing content.
DIGIPUB News India Foundation on Friday, 26 March, announced the foundation of a new independent association for reviewing content, with high-profile names that include former judge of the Supreme court, Justice Madan B Lokur, and Jawhar Sircar, former CEO of Prasar Bharati.
The formation of the committee comes in the backdrop of several digital news organisations, including The Quint and The Wire, challenging the regulation of digital news portals under the newly released Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
The organisations have challenged the constitutionality of the new guidelines that might have an adverse effect on the freedom of digital media.
Here’s the Full Statement
DIGIPUB News India Foundation, as an association of responsible publishers of digital news, is delighted to announce the formation of an independent, high level ombudsman process/content review committee.
A few of our members have had independent internal mechanisms for review in place for some years, while others are in the process of formulating their own in-house procedures of varying formality. DIGIPUB and its members see these mechanisms as part of our commitment to professional media ethics, which includes providing our readers – who may have bona fide objections to particular published content – an opportunity to reach out to us.
The independent committee, which DIGIPUB is announcing today, represents an additional, voluntary layer of transparency on the part of our member publications.
The committee comprises:
- Justice Madan B. Lokur (retd.), former judge of the Supreme Court of India
- Swarna Rajagopalan, founder and director for the Prajnya Trust
- Bezwada Wilson, a founder of the Safai Karamchari Andolan
- Jawhar Sircar, former CEO of Prasar Bharati and former Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Government of India
As is evident, the independent committee we have established consists of individuals with an unimpeachable record and accomplishments in the fields of law, rights, gender and public administration.
DIGIPUB is in the process of working out the modalities of the committee's functioning and work, including an appropriate and practical referral system, and will make those public in due course.
DIGIPUB wishes to reiterate what it noted in its statement of February 26, 2021, issued in response to the new IT Rules, 2021, namely that any attempt by the executive to regulate the content of news portals or publications would be to strike not only at the constitutional scheme but at democracy itself.
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