Shillong, October 5 : The Meghalaya Editors’ and Publishers’ Association (MEPA) has issued a warning against private YouTubers posing as journalists.

In a meeting held in Shillong on October 5, 2023, the MEPA decided to clarify to all concerned, including members of the public, that authorized media houses are those which have registered with the Registrar of Newspapers of India (RNI) and empanelled with the Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR), Government of Meghalaya.

The MEPA also stated that media personnel, reporters, correspondents, and freelance journalists have to obtain the identity card issued by their respective media house (newspaper, TV channel, digital channel) and Accreditation Card issued by the DIPR.

The MEPA has decided to write to the DIPR on this matter for necessary steps to be taken so that the members of the public are not misused or misguided by any individuals posing as journalists or media personnel.

The MEPA’s warning comes in the wake of complaints from journalists and reporters working in some districts of the State regarding the presence of private YouTubers who performed journalistic duty through news coverage, attending official functions, press conferences, and press briefings in the districts. Complaints have also been received that there were private YouTubers who pasted “Press” tags in their vehicles.

The MEPA’s warning is a timely one, and it is important for the public to be aware that not all individuals who claim to be journalists are actually authorized to do so. The public should be vigilant and should only trust information that comes from credible sources

The MEPA has also expressed solidarity with the various media organizations in India who have decided to write to the Chief Justice of India to draw his attention to the continued attempts to throttle press freedom in the country as happened recently with some journalists in Delhi.