Why Is the Indian Government Afraid of Digital News? – By Aakar Patel
There are other things, such as licenses for TV stations, free or subsidised land allotment and customs and import duties on machinery and newsprint (the paper that newspapers are made of). Then there are the various ‘summits’ that big media houses hold where they invite the prime minister and various ministers to attend and speak.
When the prime minister is displeased with a headline or story, he has in the past cancelled his presence, leading other ministers to also cancel and leading event sponsors to complain that they did not get the full value of their sponsorship. All these make the traditional media vulnerable to government pressure in a way that the new websites cannot be.
And this is why the Modi government has introduced the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. This oversight mechanism was created without a law and would function for the internet as the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting did for TV regulation. The government was giving itself the power to censor and regulate all content on the internet and even on messaging services….