Journalists’ Forum Assam demands guidelines for digital news platforms

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Guwahati: Expressing serious concern over the mentality of some news portal editors to malign a senior BJP leader and a hardworking minister in Assam, a scribe’s forum in northeast India asserts that effective guidelines for all digital news platforms become the need of the hour. (JFA) in a statement also opined that the growth of digital news outlets remains haphazard across the country.
Mentioning the recent arrest of Pratibimba Live’s chief editor Taufiquddin Ahmad and news editor Asif Iqbal Hussain for spreading malicious news contents on Assam’s senior minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, the forum revealed that Assam police have arrested both of them under various sections of the IPC and POCSO Act as Sarma’s minor daughter was dragged into the controversy.
Many others including portal reporters and social media users namely Puli Muchchary, N Nayanmoni Gogoi, Najrul Hussain, Najmul Haque, Mijul Ali etc were also detained or arrested in the same case as the State police had warned that necessary actions would be taken against all persons irrespective of their place of residence who may use any of the social media platforms for furthering the conspiracy. “We reiterate our old demand to bring both television news channels and portals under the purview of Press Council of India (PCI) if necessary changing its nomenclature to Media Council of India (MCI),” said JFA president Rupam Barua adding that more power to the autonomous, statutory and quasi-judicial body should be facilitated so that it can serve as a real watchdog for newspapers, news agencies,
news channels, digital news platforms and may censure them against any violation.
“Meanwhile, disturbing news is pouring about the incident of vandalism at a media office in Jorhat, abusing news reporters in different public places, the arrest of an Assam based portal reporter in stealing cases, burning the effigy of a senior Assamese television anchor exposing his act of soliciting business with corporates, etc,” concluded the JFA statement requesting all working journalists to get united with clear conscience and wisdom.