New Delhi: The new Central Media Accreditation Guidelines-2022 released by the Centre have included a stringent provision under which a journalist can lose government accreditation if the person “acts in a manner which is prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement of an offence”.
The new accreditation guidelines announced by the Press Information Bureau — the official communication arm of the central government — has also opened up government accreditation for web journalists for the first time, even as news aggregators will remain out of the ambit.
A senior government official told News18 that the entire process of accreditation has been streamlined, grey zones have been removed, rules have full clarity and there is no scope for interpretation or fudging. “The new rules are reformative. They are focused on professional work. Digital media has been given full recognition which was earlier lacking. For the first time in history foreign media will get accreditation for full term of J Visa,” the official said.
The official also pointed out that a journalist was earlier arrested for spying for China but his accreditation could not be cancelled as there was no provision.