I&B Ministry approves new self-regulatory body for print, digital news outlets

I&B Minister Anurag Thakur. (File photo)

  • The self-regulatory body (SRB) called the PADMA has 47 news publishers
  • Self-Regulatory Body composed of a judge and two journalists
  • Govt, however, still hasn’t issued clear guidelines on how an organisation can obtain approval

The government has cleared a Print and Digital Media Association (PADMA) to look at grievances related to digital news content. The self-regulatory body called the PADMA has 47 news publishers.

PADMA CEO Jitendra Mehta told the Indian Express, “The organisation will primarily look at grievances related to content on digital media platforms pertaining to current affairs that have not been addressed at the level of the platform.”

Ninth Self-Regularity Body

It has been registered as a Level-II Self-Regulatory Body (SRB) for publishers of news and current affairs content. With this, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has now approved nine SRBs since May 2021, under Rule 12 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. They also include DIGIPUB News India Foundation, the Confederation of Online Media (India), and NFB-Professional News Broadcasting Standard Authority, among others. SRB composed of a judge and two journalists.

The I&B Ministry statement

The MIB statement further read, “The Print and Digital Media Association shall perform functions laid down in the sub-rules (4) and (5) of rule 12 for the purpose of redressing grievances related to the Code of Ethics under the Rules. The body shall also ensure that the member publishers have agreed to adhere to 4. The provisions of the Rules, including furnishing the requisite information under rule 18 of the Rules.” In October, the government notified amendments to the IT Rules. Through these amendments, the government will now appoint a grievance appellate committee to adjudicate grievances related to intermediaries’ content moderation decisions, according to Newslaundary, a popular media monitoring website.

No guidelines for obtaining approval

While the Ministry continues to bring in more SRBs, it still hasn’t issued clear guidelines on how an organisation can obtain approval. For instance, the DIGIPUB News India Foundation had to follow-up with the Ministry for months before becoming an SRB, according to media watch website, Medianama.


(With agencies inputs)

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