The Government of India published the new ‘Central Media Accreditation Guidelines 2022’ on Monday. The guidelines came into effect on February 1 and will determine the accreditation of all journalists.
Under these new guidelines, a journalist’s accreditation will be withdrawn or suspended if they act in a manner detrimental to the security, sovereignty and integrity of the country, or to India’s friendly relations with foreign states. Further, if the journalist’s actions are detrimental to “public order, decency or morality” or they are involved in “contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence,” they may lose their accreditation.
A committee will be constituted by the Union Government, called the Central Media Accreditation Committee (CMAC), chaired by the Principal DG, PIB and comprising of up to 25 members nominated by the government, to discharge the functions laid down under the new guidelines. Once the CMAC is constituted, it will function for two years from the date of first meeting. It is set to conduct meetings once in a quarter or more frequently, if necessary, and decisions will be taken on a majority basis.
With regard to new media organisations, the general terms of accreditation will apply to digital news publications as defined by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, under Rule 18 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code), Rules, 2021. Accreditation will be given to websites that have operated actively for at least one year, provided the editor of the news portal is an Indian citizen. The website should have a registered office in India and the correspondents should be based in Delhi or the National Capital Region, in order to get accredited.
However, news aggregators will not be eligible. Organisations owned and run by cable operators providing cable television services through Cable Television Network will also not be eligible for accreditation.
According to the new Guidelines, an accredited media person is prohibited from using the words “Accredited to the Government of India” on public forums, social media profile, visiting cards, letter heads, or on any other form of published work.