Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said on Wednesday that the Centre will soon bring in a law to regulate digital media.
“Be it print, digital, or electronic, we have left them to self regulation,” Thakur said. “For newspapers we have Press Council of India, which looks into their grievances, while the electronic media also has its own independent regulatory body.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party leader made the remarks while addressing an event in Jaipur.
“Digital media presents opportunities as well as challenges and to achieve a fine balance, the government will see what can be done on this,” he added.
Digital media has enabled regional news reporters to take their stories to the national level, Thakur said. However, he added that due to the prevalence of fake news on social media platforms many readers still rely on newspapers to verify its credibility.
Notably, the Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, which were introduced by the Centre last year, had brought digital media under the ambit of government supervision.
The Intermediary Rules included regulation of OTT platforms and digital news media when they use other intermediary sites/apps such as Twitter or Facebook and when they host news media content on their website/app.
During Wednesday’s event, Thakur also said that the government will simplify the process of registration of newspapers by bringing in a new law to replace the 1867 Press and Registration of Books Act.
Thakur claimed that under the new law the registration process of newspapers will be completed in a week through online mode as against the current four-month-long process.