Do you need RNI registration for an online news portal?

  • December 21, 2021
  • Dushyant Sharma
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Registrar of Newspaper in India issued RNI registration to those who seek to publish newspapers, periodicals, or magazines and distribute them throughout the country. As time has passed and the value of newspapers have sunk, online news portal has become a more relevant source of information about the latest news. It has made people wonder if such platforms are under the same scrutiny as a newspaper or a magazine. Let's find out through this article.


Looking to set up an Online News Portal in India?

What is one question that plagues most RNI registration consultants in Delhi? Let us give you a guess. It is not about the process to obtain newspaper registration in India. It is about whether an online news portal must also contact an RNI registration agent.


Rise of Online News Portals in India

Since mobile data became dirt-cheap and the Internet became accessible, online news portals have become prominent. Riots have occurred throughout the nation because of the news these portals peddle. And in some instances, the reputations of innocent individuals have been tarnished. However, these online platforms are still going strong. Why is that the case?


Reasons for the craze of Online News Portal in today’s time

News Portals are more accessible

Online news platforms like YouTube are more accessible due to the ubiquity of the Internet. Another reason for their accessibility is their short format. People find it easy to digest small snippets of use rather than comprehensive information.

Amicability in starting an Online News channel

Online traditional news channels, online news channels don't have to work under frequency restrictions. All they need is an internet connection and access to a camera; all they have to do is upload the recording to the world. 

Operating News Channels are rewarding

From Google ad revenues to sponsorships, there are many options for an online news portal to generate revenue. Thus, even traditional journals are gravitating towards online platforms.

The rising relevancy and trust generated by online platforms have made the government nervous. In response, it tried to introduce regulations to put the news platforms under scrutiny. However, nothing has come out of it yet.


Importance of RNI registration for Online News portals

After reading the reason behind the rise of online news platforms, one wonders if they should come under the government's scrutiny. However, the answer is not so simple. 

To keep a tab on Freedom of Expression

The Internet exists so that people can express themselves freely. Granted that some hijack the platform to peddle hate, but some wish to deliver news in their raw form. Introducing regulatory restrictions can put a leash on their neck, so they might not survive.

Regulations are sensitive to Political Agendas

Say what you will, but governing guidelines in India only exist because of the ruling party's Agenda. Therefore, you can't be aware of the intent of the regulations. As a result, you can't ascertain whether the guidelines exist to help or stop you. Such ambiguity doesn't bode well for any online news platform.

Government still lacking in its surveillance skills 

The government doesn't have the resources to monitor every YouTube news channel in India. Although it can take assistance from Google, it would mean letting a foreign entity meddle in domestic affairs.


Is there an RNI registration for online News Portals?

No, regulations in the RNI rulebook exist for online news portals. So, you don't need to obtain it to run your platform.

Although online news portals have gone ubiquitous, they don't come under any regulations. And even though it is risky, there are no guidelines within the RNI to register an online platform for news. Thus, you do not need RNI registration to run an online news portal.


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Dushyant Sharma
Author: Dushyant Sharma

Hey there, I'm Dushyant Sharma. With the extensive knowledge I've gained in past 8 years, I have been creating content on various subjects such as banking, insurance, telecom, and all the important registration and licensing processes for various companies. I'm here to help everyone with my expertise in these areas through my articles.

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