It’s now the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) that has sought details from digital publishers of news and curated content players in a format designed by the government, which has said digital news publishers need not register but have to furnish details.
“Since the newspapers are registered under Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867, and private satellite TV channels are permission holders under the Uplinking and Downlinking Guidelines (2011) of the Ministry, a separate format for furnishing information, as in Appendix I, has been devised for such entities publishing news and current affairs on digital media,” the MIB said in a public notice that’s dated May 26, 2021.
For all “other digital news publishers, the relevant format is at Appendix II, while for OTT platforms, the format for furnishing information is at Appendix III,” MIB has specified.
The details in the appendix require contact details of relevant officials as per the new digital norms, the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Codes) Rules, 2021, notified by the Government of India, announced on February 25, 2021 and which came into effect yesterday.
Since the notification of the digital norms, MIB stated, the Minister Prakash Javadekar “held interactions with the publishers of online curated content, as well as the publishers of news on digital media” and also established communication channel with many digital media publishers, and their associations, regarding the rules and their compliance requirements.
“A total of around 60 publishers, and their associations, have also informed the Ministry that they have already initiated the process of formation of self-regulatory bodies under the rules,” the MIB statement said.
The MIB statement goes on to clarify that there is no requirement for prior registration of digital media publishers with the government. Rule 18 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Codes) Rules, 2021 instead provides for furnishing of certain information by the publishers of news and current affairs, and publishers of online curated content, to the Ministry.
The digital publishers have been given 15 days time to furnish the required details.