Journalists who act against national security risk losing their accreditation: PIB


Journalists could lose their accreditation if they act in a way that is “prejudicial to India’s sovereignty and integrity, the state’s security, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation, or incitement of an offence,” according to the Press Information Bureau (PIB).

The PIB, which is part of the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry, has over 2,400 journalists accredited.

The rules specify ten conditions that must be met in order for accreditation to be revoked. Submission of forged documents or the use of accreditation for non-journalistic purposes are examples. If a journalist is charged with a “serious cognisable offence,” his or her accreditation may be revoked. Journalists are not allowed to use the phrase “accredited to the government of India” on social media, according to the rules.

Journalists who work for digital media news publishers who aren’t aggregators and have shared their information with the ministry under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules are now eligible for accreditation.

For accreditation, they must have at least five years of experience. For one journalist to be accredited, a website must be at least one year old and have received one million to five million unique views in the previous six months. Four accreditations are available for websites with more than 10 million page views. They will be required to submit a six-month average monthly unique visitor count certified by approved empanelled auditors.

In September 2012, the accreditation guidelines were last updated. If an applicant or a media organisation is found to have provided false, fraudulent, or forged information or documents, their representative “shall be barred from accreditation for a period of up to five years but not less than two years,” they said.

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