Signifying the growing importance of digital media, the union govt has made certain changes to the govt media policy, extending some of the facilities to digital media which are currently limited to only print and electronic media.
The govt on Friday announced that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is considering PIB accreditation for reporters, cameramen, videographers of digital media outlets. This will enable such media-persons to obtain first-hand information and access, including participation in official press conferences and such other interactions with the govt.
After obtaining PIB accreditation, digital media personnel will also be able to avail the benefits of Central Govt Health Scheme and concessional rail fare according to existing procedures.
Digital media houses will also be eligible for digital advertisements through Bureau of Outreach and Communication, opening a new avenue for revenue, which are currently dependent on private sector advertising and subscription revenue.
The statement issued by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting also said that similar to self-regulating bodies in print in electronic media, entities in digital media can form self-regulating bodies for furthering their interests and interaction with the Government.
The PIB statement added that these decisions have been taken in pursuant to the decision of the Central Government allowing 26% FDI under Government approval route on ‘Uploading/Streaming of Current Affairs and News through Digital Media’.
In August last year, the central govt had announced 26% foreign direct investment (FDI) in digital media sector through the government approval route. 26% FDI in print media and 49% FDI in broadcasting media was already allowed.
In this context, today the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) also released a clarification on the issue of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the sector. DPIIT said that the digital media entities will have to align FDI to 26 percent within one year of clarification. The statement said that majority of the board of directors and chief executive officer (CEO) of digital media companies with FDI will have to be Indian citizens and the firms will have to get security nod for all foreign personnel working with them.
“Security nod must for foreign personnel deployed for more than 60 days in India if security nod for any foreign personal gets denied, the employee has to resign/employment terminated,” the statement issued by DPIIT said.
The FDI norms for digital media will be applicable to Indian entities uploading/streaming news and current affairs content on websites, apps or other online platforms, news agencies which supply news to digital media entities and/or news aggregators, and to news aggregators which aggregate content from various sources in one location, using software / web applications.