September 28, 2022

PIB new accreditation norms vague, arbitrary: Editors Guild | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Editors Guild of India on Sunday urged the government to withdraw the new Central Media Accreditation Guidelines on grounds that the guidelines are “vague and arbitrary” and that “draconian clauses” have been included in it with an intent to restrict any critical and investigative reporting of government affairs.
EGI also said the Press Information Bureau, which issued the guidelines, should undertake “a meaningful consultation” with all stakeholders to come up with revised guidelines.
“The Editors Guild of India is deeply concerned about the newly released Central Media Accreditation Guidelines issued by the Press Information Bureau of India, which lays down the rules for giving accreditation to journalists for accessing and reporting from the headquarters of Government of India,” EGI said in a statement.
It also referred to as “arbitrary” and “manifestly vague and subjective”, the provisions of the guidelines and objected to journalists being denied an opportunity to be heard before their accreditation is cancelled.
“Most surprisingly, ‘defamation’ has been included as a ground for cancellation,” the EGI said.
A new clause requiring police verification added without defining the contours of such verification, the Editors Guild of India said can grant unfettered powers to the police for denying accreditation to journalists who seen as critical of the government, since no standards have been prescribed.
“It is clear that these vague, arbitrary, and draconian clauses have been included with an intent to restrict any critical and investigative reporting of government affairs,” it said adding that guidelines were introduced without any prior consultation with journalists’ bodies, media organisations or any other relevant stakeholders.
“The Guild therefore demands a withdrawal of these guidelines and urges the PIB to undertake meaningful consultation with all the stakeholders if it is intent on revising them,” the Editors Guild of India said.

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