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Editors Guild protests Press Council’s ‘ominous’ advisory against foreign content

The Editors Guild Of India (EGI) on Saturday said that it is “perturbed” by the recent advisory from the Press Council of India (PCI), and urged for its withdrawal.

“Editors Guild urges the PCI, which should be committed to press freedom, to withdraw this advisory immediately,” the Guild said in a statement.

 

On November 25, the PCI had issued an advisory which had asked Indian publications to publish extracts from foreign content only after due verification.

“The Council is of the view that unregulated circulation of the foreign content is not desirable. Hence, it advises the media to publish foreign extracts in Indian newspapers with due verification as the reporter, publisher and editor of such newspaper shall be responsible for the contents irrespective of the source from which it is received,” the advisory read.

Expressing concern over the advisory, the EGI said “the step could lead to some form of censorship and punitive actions against those organizations that publish content, which in its view is seen as “not desirable””.

The Editors Guild underlined that the practice of reproducing content from foreign publications is an established one and that editors are anyway responsible for all the content, and therefore, a reiteration of such facts by the PCI sounds “ominous”.

“A reiteration by the Council at this juncture of this established practice, in an ominous-sounding advisory, has disturbing implications,” it said.