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Press Council muzzles reproduction of foreign media content

Press Council muzzles reproduction of foreign media content

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The Press Council of India advised the Indian media on Wednesday to independently verify content reproduced from foreign media. It has said that the reporter, editor and publisher of an Indian newspaper will be responsible for publishing unverified reports.

The Press Council of India released an advisory to the Indian media on 25 November 2020 to say that the government had received complaints from various quarters for re-publication of foreing media content in Indian Newspapers. It did not make any specific reference in the advisory.

As a practice, Indian newspapers re-publish content from foreign media either under  syndication agreements for exact reproduction without changes except in some cases to incorporate house styles of editing the articles. Another form of using such content reported by the foreign media is to refer to the reports published abroad while preparing articles for an Indian audience.

Image of PCI advisory 25 November 2020

The Deccan Herald reported that Indian newspapers publish reports and editorials by foreign publications like the Economist, New York Times, and Washington Post that criticise the Narendra Modi government“. It reported sources saying that there had been complaints about such unverified reports and articles reporting content that go “...against the interests of the country“.

Re-verification of information sourced by foreing media outlets will include re-inventing the wheel by corroborating the information with sources and by re-analysing the reported data.

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