Information and Broadcasting Minister to take action against fake journalists. Is it true?

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A news report is going viral on social media which claims that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is about to tighten its grip on “fake journalists”. 

Claims: According to the report, Minister of State for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting – Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, during a press briefing, stated that the Ministry would take action against fake journalists, file FIRs and also jail them if required. The minister also said that only those newspapers registered under Registrar of Newspapers for India and TV/Radio channels registered under the IB Ministry could recruit a journalist/reporter, alleged the report. 

The report mentioned that, when asked about journalists employed in web-based news portals, the minister said there is no provision for their registration under the IB Ministry. Hence, the Ministry would take strict action against those who recruit Journalists or release press cards in their name.

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 In the viral article, the name of the news publication reads – Ratangarh Times, New Delhi. A google search of this name led us to Ratangarh Times’ Facebook page. After a brief look through it, we found that on 16th June, the page shared the same article in a newsletter.  

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Truth

Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore or the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting did not make any statement about taking action against “fake journalists”.

It is important to note that Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is not even the Minister of State for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Rathore held the position from 14th May 2018 to 31st May 2019. However, he was not given the post in the second term of the Modi government. The current Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting is Shri Prakash Javadekar. It is notable that the official social media accounts of both present and ex-minister of the IB Ministry or the Ministry itself, had no mention of this press brief.

Furthermore, there was also no mention of any such decision or statement by the IB Ministry in any news report across all news publications. Such news ought to have gained attention from the media because it directly affects the industry.

The official fact-checking Twitter account of the Press Information Bureau tweeted and debunked the news. The tweet mentioned the widespread claim and called it fake. It also reiterated that the Ex. Central Minister for Information and Broadcasting Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has not claimed such action in any of his statements.

Other fact-checkers like NewsChecker recently debunked this claim too.

Mansi Verma
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Mansi Verma

A student of Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication from Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune, Mansi is open to learning new things while exploring the road to unbiased, fact-oriented journalism.