New Delhi: Various journalists’ bodies on Thursday wrote to Information and Broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur requesting that new PIB accreditation guidelines be withdrawn immediately.
They urged the minister to continue with the previous accreditation rules till December and said any new guidelines should be formulated after “due consultation” with the stakeholders and media bodies.
“We emphasise that the existing procedure for the renewal and issuance of fresh accreditation cards for PIB are adequate and there is no requirement to disturb the process,” the journalists bodies stated in a joint letter to the minister.
The letter was signed by the presidents of the Press Club of India, Press Association, Indian Women Press Corps, Working News Cameraman Association and Delhi Union of Journalist, and the general secretary of the Editors Guild of India.
Raising objections to the Central Media Accreditation Guidelines, 2022, the journalists bodies said, “The new guidelines are such that empower the government to act simultaneously in the capacity of a complainant, prosecutor and also a judge without due process.”
Grant of accreditation to journalists is just one of the many facilities that a free democracy should provide to its media in order to ensure that a free and independent journalism is practiced, they added.
“We, the undersigned journalist organisations and media persons therefore, request your goodself to withdraw the new guidelines with immediate effect and continue with the existing accreditation rules till the end of December 2022.”
“As for framing new guidelines, it should be done after due consultation with the stakeholders and media bodies with the government playing the role of a facilitator to retain the independent role of the media,” the journalist bodies stated in their letter to the minister.
“Besides, the accreditation guidelines should be liberalised so that more journalists are able to get accreditation in the pursuit of their profession and the central media accreditation committee (CMAC) itself should be as representative as possible to include the broadest spectrum of stakeholders from the media,” they said.