PM Modi Pushes Back Against Fake News Press Ban

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office has pushed back against the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s (MIB) latest decision to fight the fake news epidemic that is sweeping India and the globe.

On Monday, the MIB had announced that they would be changing the press accreditation guidelines for any journalist whose work is shown to constitute ‘fake news’. In light of strong criticism from both senior journalists and opposition members, PM Modi has directed the MIB to withdraw their press release and work internally with the Press Council of India on any changes.

In response to this directive, I&B Minister Smriti Irani tweeted that she is glad that a debate has been started around fake news, and that anyone is welcome to reach out to the MIB with ideas on how to fight fake news. 

Earlier, Congress leader Ahmed Patel had both appreciated the need to “control fake news”, but also pointed out some dangerous applications of the new press accreditation guidelines.

In a stronger vein, senior journalist and founder of The Print Shekhar Gupta had compared the move to former PM Rajiv Gandhi’s infamous 1988 anti-defamation bill. He appealed to all media outlets to “bury their differences and resist this.”

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