Srinagar: The J&K government is planning to roll out a new social media policy in a month for the "empanelment" of digital media including news agencies, news portals, wire services, news websites and "other related social media establishments".
The process requires the online news portals and agencies to register with DMs. Only media organizations with over 100+ subscribers can apply for empanelment, Information Director Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary said.
Moreover, It should have been functioning "for at least five years before being empanelled for subscription by the Information Department". A news site must be able to show at least 10,000 page views per day, and a news agency, a portfolio of published news items over the least one year bearing its credit line. The domain names of the online portals "should be registered for at least the news five terms from the date of application for subscription," said Chaudhary explained the guidelines, which have been submitted to the government.
"The social media policy has laid down norms for qualifying as a news agency or group or establishment. It aims at providing assistance from government and empanelment for advertisement. At the same time it will help DIRP to have a database I authentic organizations or social media websites/groups etc which are being empanelled and will help law enforcement agencies to take action against rumormongers…" said Chaudhary.
He said that a draft policy had been put out in the public domain for a month until December 31, 2016, for view and suggests. Suggestions and comments has been delivered from organizations, including the Kashmir Editor's Guild, Press Association, Jammu Links, JKNews Today, and more than 40 individuals and portals.
The governments move coems in the wake of the months of turmoil in the Villey after security forces killed Hizbullah Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani, in which social media was seen as having played a role. The unrest continues to simmer, and was seen boiling over during the recently held Sringar Lok Sabha bypoll.
Kashmiri youth have taken to online platforms to express anger against the government through written content, as well as videos and still images of funerals of militants and purported excesses by security forces against civilians.
"Post July 2017… on various occasions this medium has been used for inciting violence and exploiting sentiments.
Many rumors were circulated, giving a tough time to the administration. Determination of elected representatives and prominent citizens was another development," said Chaudhary.
He said the guidelines do not include WhatsApp groups. He said in his remarks to The Indian Express on Saturday he had talked about "empanelment" of online groups and sites and this was wrongly interpreted as "registering" WhatsApp groups.