30 July, 2021

Fake News Busters

Biggest fake news outlets are the right-wing hate factories—TV channels rolling on TRPs, communal, venom-spewing websites and deadly whatsapp news agencies. But the honourable minister merely targeted accredited journalists,

Fake News Busters

When our honourable minister for Information and Broadcasting (a portfolio held by Indira Gandhi and Inder Kumar Gujral, who went on to bec­ome prime ministers, and also by L.K. Advani who became a deputy prime minister) threw fake news rules at journalists, I couldn’t stop laughing. It is for some reason that the Kaka Nagar-Bapa Nagar babus have been ruling the nation for so long. You need to have a basic understanding of governance to frame rules, however draconian. Or at the very least pray to V.C. Shukla’s ghost and light an incense stick before stepping into that office or setting out to tame the media. Shukla would have told you that the first dictum of media management is to ignore the journalist: a lowly paid, miserable and often crazily idealistic creature.

It is indeed surprising why the I&B ministry chose to issue these rules or guidelines. First of all, fake news producers are primarily news websites and TV channels and not the venerable old print media. We check and double-check and still lament over silly slips, forever. Sure, there are...

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