Print Media Registration Process

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Print Media Registration Process
25 Jan 2023
6 min read

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The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting's Office of the Registrar of the Newspapers for India (official name), also known as Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI), is a statutory body established by the Government of India for the registration of publications, including newspapers and magazines.

On the recommendation of the First Press Commission in 1953 and after modifying the Press and Registration of Books Act of 1867, it became operational on July 1st, 1956. The essentials of RNI Registration are given in this blog post  This blog is to inform you about the Print Media Registration Process components such as newspapers and magazines. 

The Registrar of the Newspapers of India (RNI) registers all publications, such as newspapers and magazines in India in accordance with the provisions of the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867. RNI was established in 1956 on the recommendations of the First Press Commission, and all periodicals in the country are mandated to register themselves with RNI before they start publishing. RNI maintains a Register of Newspapers containing particulars of all newspapers. It also issues a Certificate of Registration to the newspapers. RNI works with District Magistrates to keep them informed about available titles.

RNI Registration

The owners must get an RNI registration from the Registrar of the Newspapers in order to begin publishing a newspaper, magazine, or printed publication in India. Under the Press and Registration of Books Act of 1867 (PRB)., our Ministry of Information and Broadcasting oversees and sets regulations for the Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI)  Starting a business of a newspaper, magazine, journal, etc. requires RNI approval.

Print Media Registration Process

There are two steps involved in the Print Media Registration Process :

a. Verification of Title

b. Registration of Title

Title Verification

The first step is to get the title verified and approved. The application form for title verification is available online on the RNI website. The publisher needs to apply for a title to the RNI with the following details:

a. Name of the paper/magazine

b. Name of the owner

c. Language in which the publication will be circulated

d. Periodicity of the publication (daily, weekly, monthly, etc)

e. Area of publication of that journal

The application form is submitted to the District Magistrate’s office, which verifies the credentials of the applicant. Once the RNI notifies the availability of the verified title, the title becomes available for registration. A list of all registered titles is also available on the RNI website Once a title is verified, it is allotted to the applicant for a maximum period of two years. A validated title becomes blocked after two years if it is not registered, and the documentation must be presented again. A title can also be double-checked for publication in many languages.

Title Registration

To get the title registered, the publisher needs to fill up the declaration form and submit it to the District Magistrate’s office. Along with the declaration, the first printed copy of the first issue, bearing Volume 1 and Issue 1, and a letter of agreement between the publisher and the printer also need to be submitted. Any request pertaining to the change in periodicity and/or adding or dropping any language of publication also needs to be made at the stage of title registration. Once the declaration form is submitted, it is mandatory for the publisher to publish the first issue of the paper within 42 days in case of dailies and weeklies. However, in the case of a journal with higher periodicity, they get 90 days to publish the first issue. The newspaper is allowed to change ownership after submitting an affidavit for the same to the District Magistrate’s office.

Imprint Line requirements

Imprint Line is the mandatory information published by every newspaper under the Press and Registration of Books Act. The information includes the following: name of the editor, name of the printer, name of the publisher, and address/location of the press. Some newspapers also add the registration number, volume, and issue number of the publication in the imprint line. The editor whose name is carried in the imprint line, is responsible, under law, for all the content published in the publication.

Also Read: What is A Sole Proprietorship And How To Start One

Authentication Of Declaration

The title verification letter shall be provided to the appropriate authority (DM/DC/SDM/DCP/JCP/CMM, etc.) along with a correctly filled declaration (Form-I) for authentication after being obtained from the RNI. Separate statements from the publisher and printer are necessary if the publisher and printer are different individuals. Separate declarations are necessary from both districts if the printing press and location of publishing are in different jurisdictions. Both the publisher and the printer may file the declaration from the district where the printing press is located or from the district where the publication takes place.

The publication of the first issue

According to the PRB Act of 1867, if the periodicity is daily or weekly, the first issue must be filed within 42 days following the declaration's authentication. If the periodicity is fortnightly or more, the first issue must be published no later than 90 days after the declaration's authentication.

Where determining the 42/90 days for the start of the first issue when the place of publication and the printing press are in different districts, the date of the publisher's filed place of publication declaration's authentication shall be taken into account. An updated declaration should be submitted if the first issue is published later than expected.

The publication must be published in the press that was mentioned in the declaration. It ought to solely include news, views, articles, etc. News, opinions, writings, etc. should be published in the languages listed when a publication is bilingual or multilingual.

List of the documentation required for the final RNI Registration

The following is a list of the documents needed to register a newspaper or publication:

  • A copy of the title verification letter that RNI issued.
  • Publisher submitted Declaration (Form-1) with proper authentication from DM/DC/SDM/JCP/CMM.
  • A signed contract between the publisher of the periodical. If the owner of the printing press and the periodical are not the same person, both signatures must be on the presented agreement.
  • A copy of volume 1, issue 1, which is the first issue. Please ensure the following when submitting the first issue: Publication of the first issue of the periodical must occur within 42 days after the date of authentication of the declaration.
  • A uniform font and letter size is used to portray the title or masthead. Any variation shouldn't be greater than 25%.
  • The newspaper or magazine that has been published includes public news, views, or comments.
  • Only the RNI-verified languages may be used in the publication of the newspaper or periodical.
  • Avoid substituting symbols, pictures, emojis, etc. for a syllable or letter in the title.
  • Every copy must have an imprinted line that contains accurate and comprehensive information.

Registration Certificate

Press Registrar can issue the Certificate of Registration once.

The first issue of the journal is published, and the magistrate issues a copy of the declaration.

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