'Publish foreign content after due verification': Press Council warns media houses of consequences

The Press Council of India (PCI) issued an advisory to media houses on Wednesday to publish extracts from foreign publications only after "due verification".

The quasi-judicial body warned the Indian publications that they will be held responsible for the reportage, irrespective of from where it sourced the article.

The advisory said the Press Council has considered references received "by the government" from various quarters about the "responsibility of Indian newspapers in publishing foreign content".

The Press Council said it was of the view that unregulated circulation of foreign content is "not desirable".

"Hence, it advises the media to publish foreign extracts in Indian newspapers with due verification as 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.

An official aware of the details said that the advisory fixes legal responsibility.

"There were concerns about who will be held responsible in case of content that is published from foreign sources or from foreign authors. The PCI received submissions about this from the readers as well as the government so it was decided that the legal responsibility of what is published will rest with the Indian publication that prints the content," the official said.

PCI is an autonomous, statutory, quasi-judicial body that was set up in 1966 for the preservation of press freedom, and to establish a code of conduct for newspapers and news agencies and journalists.

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