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Journalists protest against new accreditation guidelines

Journalists on Friday held a protest meet against the new Press Information Bureau accreditation guidelines and demanded that the government withdraw it.

 

In a resolution passed at the protest meet, the journalists noted that the new accreditation guidelines have been formulated without any consultation with the stakeholders. They called upon the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Minister Anurag Thakur to organise a meeting comprising “all stakeholders” for its review.

We demand that the government revoke these CMAC (central media accreditation committee) guidelines which bear an uncanny resemblance to the Defamation Press Bill of 80s and call upon the Information and Broadcasting minister to organise a meeting comprising all stakeholders and review the salient points of these guidelines afresh,” the resolution read.

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We firmly resolve that granting accreditation to mediapersons is not a favour by the government. On the contrary, the government is constitutionally-duty bound to grant access to mediapersons for doing press coverage under Article 19, it added.

After the passage of the resolution, journalists staged a protest against the new accreditation guidelines near the Press Club of India premises.

Later, representatives of various journalist bodies submitted a memorandum to the I&B ministry.

More than 200 journalists have signed the memorandum extending their support to the protest, Press Club of India president Umakant Lakhera said.

In a joint letter submitted to the ministry along with the copy of the resolution passed at the protest meet, the journalist bodies appealed to the I&B minister to set aside the Central Media Accreditation Guidelines, 2022, and issue “necessary direction” to the Press Information Bureau (PIB) to adopt new guidelines only after having a discussion with all the stakeholders.

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We wish to further remind you that top media and journalist bodies today unanimously resolved that controversial PIB guidelines have created a deep confusion in the media world. The Govt has failed to clarify the logic and emergency behind this move which has unnecessarily created the crisis between the Govt and the media, the journalist bodies stated in their letter to the minister.

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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.

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