The traditional function of news is calling truth to power: it’s almost always the official version versus the news-reported version. It’s how someone wants to portray what is happening versus how it actually is. The media is supposed to report the inconvenient truth. This is most important in a state of conflict, whether internal or external: when soldiers cross a border and kill yours, both sides have their versions of events. When the police opens fire on a protest, there are multiple versions of what happened.
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With the latest changes to the IT Rules, the Indian government has given India’s Press Information Bureau the power to determine what the truth is, and order social media platforms to censor news organisations. The reach of a news story online is dependent on social media platforms. If you don’t see a link, what will you click on?
Just over a year before national elections, this power being given to PIB is undemocratic.
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