Imphal: A week after the Central government framed the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, the publisher/ intermediary of Khanasi Neinasi, an online show hosted by The Frontier Manipur (TFM) from Manipur was issued a notice to furnish necessary documents to prove that they are complying with the rules, "failing which steps as deemed fit shall be initiated without further notice".
Citing the code of ethics, the district magistrate of Imphal West, Naorem Praveen Singh, issued a notice on March 1 to the "publisher/intermediary" of 'Khanasi Neinasi' for broadcasting an online show which was held to discuss the New Digital Media Rules, titled 'Media Under Siege: Are Journalists Walking A Tight Rope'.
The show was later broadcasted on the social media platform of TFM. Reportedly, the show aired on February 28 (a day before the notice was issued). The panellists were Paojel Chaoba, who is the Executive Editor of TFM, Grace Jajo, an independent journalist, and Ninglun Hanghal, who is a columnist and freelance journalist. The event was hosted by Kishorchandra Wangkhemcha, who is the Associate Editor of TFM.
As per reports, Paojel was issued the notice.
Mentionably, Wangkhemcha came under the scanner of the state government for being a staunch critic of the government.
The statement issued on Tuesday morning, states that since they are providing online services on news and current affairs on the social media platform through their Facebook page, and "As such, you are hereby directed to furnish all the relevant documents showing that you ensure compliance of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021; failing which steps as deemed fit shall be initiated without further notice."
It needs to be mentioned here that the new media guidelines have been criticized by DIGIPUB News India Foundation according to which the rules appear to go against the fundamental principle of news and its role in democracy. The association in a written letter to Union Minister of Law Ravi Shankar Prasad and I& B Minister Prakash Javadekar highlighted that "rules and laws already exist to hold news media accountable", yet the new rules enable the government to even remove content published as current affairs or news.