The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has asked Digital Media publishers including OTT platforms and news publishers to furnish details of their compliance with the new guidelines within 15 days, India Today has reported.
In February the centre had drawn out rules to regulate social media companies, OTT streaming platforms, digital news outlets along with internet-based businesses and organisations.
Digital and online media publishers will need to follow journalistic norms as prescribed by the Press Council of India or the Programme Code issued under the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act, “thereby providing a level playing field between the offline (print, TV) and digital media.”
It will also involve a three tier regulatory mechanism:
Self-regulation by the publisher: Publisher shall appoint a Grievance Redressal Officer based in India who shall be responsible for the redressal of grievances received by it. The officer shall take (a) decision on every grievance received by it within 15 days.
Self-regulatory body: There may be one or more self-regulatory bodies of publishers. Such a body shall be headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court, a High Court or independent eminent person and have not more than six members. Such a body will have to register with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. This body will oversee the adherence by the publisher to the Code of Ethics and address grievances that have not be been resolved by the publisher within 15 days.
Oversight mechanism: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting shall formulate an oversight mechanism. It shall publish a charter for self-regulating bodies, including Codes of Practices. It shall establish an Inter-Departmental Committee for hearing grievances.