New Delhi: The Editors Guild of India on Saturday criticised an advisory by the Press Council of India (PCI), which cautioned media organisations against “unregulated circulation” of foreign content.
In a press statement, the Guild said it is “perturbed” by the PCI’s “unprovoked advisory” issued on November 25 and urged the latter to withdraw it immediately, The Print reported.
In its advisory, the PCI had said it had received references “by the government” about the responsibility of Indian newspapers when publishing foreign content.
It added that unregulated circulation of foreign content was “not desirable”, and advised media organisations to publish extracts of foreign content only after due verification.
The Guild noted that the PCI through such an advisory “is lending its weight towards a step that could bring in some form of censorship and punitive actions against those organisations that publish content, which in its view is seen as not desirable”.
It further said the PCI advisory did not specify what “unregulated circulation” meant, who will verify the content and on what criteria will the content even be verified.
Explaining that many news publications in the country license and reproduce content from foreign agencies, newspapers and periodicals, which is a “prerogative of the editor, and who is in any case responsible for all the content published in their publication”.
“A reiteration by the Council at this juncture of this established practice, in an ominous sounding advisory, has disturbing implications”, the Guild said.