According to the new Central Media Accreditation Guidelines 2022, journalists can lose or have their accreditation suspended if they act in a manner “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 Hindu on Tuesday.
The Press Information Bureau released the new guidelines on Monday. The rules list 10 conditions under which accreditation can be lost, Hindustan Times . This includes submission of fraudulent documents and the use of accreditation for non-journalistic activities.
Accreditation can also be withdrawn if a journalist is charged with “serious cognisable offence”. According to the report, journalists are barred from mentioning that they are “accredited to the government of India” on social media or public profiles.
Additionally, journalists working with digital media organisations will be eligible for accreditation as long as the organisations have shared their details with the ministry of information and broadcasting, under rule 18 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021. However, news aggregators will not be considered.
Journalists with digital news organisations must have five years of experience to apply for the accreditation. Websites seeking accreditation of a journalist must be at least a year old and have between one and five million unique views over the preceding six months.
Websites with over 10 million views will be eligible for four accreditations. According to Hindustan Times, the website will have to submit an average monthly unique visitor count of the last six months which would have to be certified by an approved auditor.
According to the new guidelines, accreditation will not be granted to freelance journalists working for foreign news media organisations, the Hindu reported.