Indian Govt looking to boost online journalism, may extend privileges

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In what will go a long way to boost online journalism in India, the Centre announced on Friday that the I&B ministry “will be considering” to extend certain benefits like issuing PIB cards to journalists from the digital media in the “near future”.

PIB accreditation for its reporters, cameramen, videographers will enable them with “better first-hand information”, said the Centre while providing access including participation in official press conferences and such other interactions. It will also make them entitled for digital advertisements through the Bureau of Outreach and Communication of the government.

The Centre, in a press note said that “pursuant to the decision of the Central Government vide Press Note No. 4/2019 of Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) allowing 26% FDI under Government approval route on Uploading/Streaming of Current Affairs and News through Digital Media’, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will be considering in the near future to extend the following benefits, presently available to traditional media (print and TV), to such entities also.”

It will also make the PIB cardholders of such digital ventures entitled to CGHS benefits and concessional rail fare as per extant procedure.

The Centre also urged digital media entities to form self-regulating bodies, like their counterparts in TV and Print media, for “furthering their interests and interaction with the Government”.

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