Regulators

Paid news to be checked under amendments to Press & Registration Act: Rathore

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NEW DELHI: The Government will include provisions for checking the menace of paid news in the amendments to the Press and Registration of Books Act.

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore told the Lok Sabha that based on the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Information Technology, inclusion of provisions in the Act “would also be pursued as per extant guidelines”.

In the amendments proposed to the PRB Act, the Ministry has also proposed inclusion of a section which says 'paid news' means publishing any news or analysis in the publication for a price in cash or kind as consideration.

Earlier in November 2013, the Government had said it intended to bring ‘reproduction of any newspaper in electronic form’ within the ambit of the Act.

The amendments, which have been placed on the website of the Ministry, also says that “facsimile edition” of a publication means an exact replica in full or in part of the original edition of a foreign publication ‘in so far as the contents concerned and may not include title,’ subject to the condition that any page is not published in part.

The Government also proposes to establish a Press and Registration Appellate Board to be constituted by the central government, by notification in the official gazette, consisting of a chairperson and another member, to be nominated by the Press Council of India, established under Section 4 of the Press Council Act 1978 from among its members.

It says that any dispute relating to registration of newspapers or publications would be referred to a "specified appellate authority" that may be prescribed by the central government.

Under the amendments, publication means newspapers, magazines, journals or newsletters printed periodically and published in India ‘including its reproduction in electronic form or any syndication, facsimile edition, and Indian editions of periodicals published outside India.’

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