Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani on Friday said the explosion of digital media has led to a scenario where a reporter or editor no longer has the last word on the news. She said consumers of news can now challenge the reporter and editor on the credibility and sources of report. The minister was speaking at the 69th valedictory session of the Development Journalism Course at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Delhi.

Irani’s statement follows her ministry’s issuing on April 2 guidelines aimed at punishing journalists for spreading “fake news”. It was withdrawn almost immediately after criticism from political leaders as well as citizens.

“Today, because of digital intervention, the end consumer can also ask questions on the efficacy or source of the information,” said Irani. She stressed on striving for credibility. “When one falls, it is not the fall of just one journalist, editor or one establishment, it is the imagery that is created for many to point fingers at.”

Responding to an experience shared by a foreign student on Indian food, Irani said, “Our food is as spicy as the journalists here in India. So what you got is not only a taste of the kind of food we serve, but also the real adventure and spice we call Indian journalism and communication.”