UP begins work on online policy

Lucknow, July 2 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh has begun drafting an online policy aimed at catering to news websites, portals and news wires, an official said Tuesday.

The idea of a web policy came up during the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad earlier this year when the state government was flooded with requests from many global websites for accreditation to cover it, a state government official told IANS here.

"We were amazed at the number of news wires and news websites in operation and it was decided that the idea to cater to such a vast segment will be taken further to its logical end," said Prabhat Mittal, director of information and public relations.

He added that a team has been constituted to draft the policy and it has been decided that the people's opinion would also be taken into consideration.

Officials in the publicity department told IANS that Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has welcomed the idea as he is a keen follower of news on the internet.

"It was easy to get a nod on our proposal as the chief minister is net savvy and follows news on the go through many such websites," said an informed source.

Following the nod, a discussion was held with journalists and a plan to draw a road map in this regard was decided, the source added.

The work on the policy has begun and would be concluded in one month. Before that, several rounds of discussions would be held with experts on the guidelines and other measures required to be taken, an official said.

The web policy, according to the official, would also have social networks, commercial websites and news portals within its ambit.

It has also been decided that the rates offered by the department of audio visual and publicity to print and television advertisements would be studied, another official said.

"We will take on board all stakeholders in this segment before finalising the policy," said Ashok Sharma, deputy director in-charge of formulating the state's web policy.

Officials said that once the web police comes in force, UP will be the first state in the country to have such a policy. Presently, advertisements are given to media organisations largely based on recommendations.

(Mohit Dubey can be contacted at mohit.d@ians.in)


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