The Press Information Bureau has released the new accreditation policy, which lays down stringent rules for working journalists in India, including a provision that states that a journalist can lose government accreditation if he or she “acts in manner that is prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India”.
As per The Central Media Accreditation Guidelines, 2022, released on Monday, 7 February, the accreditation of any journalist working in India can be suspended or withdrawn if the individual:
"Acts in a manner that is prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement of an offence."
The policy has been prepared by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The new provision, which was not a part of the policy issued in 2013, was added under the ‘General Terms of Accreditation’ section.
The policy also prohibits journalists from displaying their accreditation on social media, visiting cards or letterheads. In the General Terms section, the provision states, “An accredited media person shall not use the words ‘Accredited to the Government of India’ on public/social media profile, visiting cards, letter heads or any other form or any published work.”
'Online News Platforms Eligible'
In a first, online news platforms will now be considered for accreditation, under the new policy. However, news aggregators will not be considered.
Online platforms that have existed for over a year are eligible for accreditation. A website with 10 to 50 lakh unique visitors per month can get one journalist accredited, while one with over 1 crore unique visitors per month can get four journalists accredited, as per the new policy.