Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday ordered the information and broadcasting ministry to withdraw its press release on fake news, holding that the decision on what constitutes fake news should be left to press bodies.
According to official sources, the PMO felt that the government should not interfere in the matter.
I and B ministry officials confirmed that the directives from the PMO on the issue have been received and said the press release will be withdrawn.The ministry had on Monday announced measures to contain fake news, saying a journalist’s accreditation could be permanently cancelled if he or she is found generating or propagating fake news.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered the withdrawal of a move to crack down on journalists responsible for distributing fake news, according to a senior government official.
The prime minister “has directed that the press statement regarding fake news be withdrawn and the matter be addressed in the Press Council of India,” the official told Reuters on Tuesday.
No reason for the decision was given. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry had said the government would withdraw the accreditation of journalists who peddle fake news. Opposition parties and journalists had described the rules as an effort by Modi’s government to control the press ahead of a general election due by next year.