NEW DELHI: Jammu & Kashmir’s new media policy, which authorises government officials to take action after making a distinction between fake and authentic news affects “free functioning of the press”,
the Press Council of India
said on Tuesday.
Taking suo motu note of the “fake news” provisions of the J&K media policy, PCI sought replies from the chief secretary and information secretary of J&K administration.
J&K’s ‘Media Policy-2020’, approved by the administration on June 2, said it would help create a “sustained narrative on the functioning of the government in media” and promote the highest standards of journalism in the UT. The government also said the policy will “thwart misinformation, fake news and raise alarm against any attempt to use media to vitiate public peace, sovereignty and integrity of the country”.
The “fake news” provisions authorise J&K officials to not only decide which content of print, electronic and other forms of media qualifies as “fake news”, but also empowers them to proceed against journalists and media organisations.
“The key highlight of the policy is that it lays down a solid foundation to use all forms of media to build public trust, pay attention to grievances of people projected by the media and strengthen the relationship between the various stakeholders,” a statement by the J&K’s department of information and public relations had said.
A formal policy governing media was put in place in the backdrop of the local police in J&K lodging FIRs against two Kashmiri journalists and summoning a few others in relation to their reportage and social media posts.
The ‘fake news’ provisions authorise J&K officials to not only decide which content of print, electronic and other forms of media qualify as ‘fake news’, but also empowers them to proceed against journalists and media organisations