RNI Registration: Is it Easy to Start a Newspaper in India?

RNI Registration

Most of you must’ve been fed up with all the fake news (due to registration) that’s going around. As most news channels have basically transformed into soap operas, people are finally looking at newspapers again. However, recently, more and more newspapers have started to behave in the same way as the news channels – sensationalizing news, providing opinionated pieces and much more. All that must have made you think is it easy to start a newspaper in India?

It’s not. But, it can become easy if only you know the process that getting registration. Which is why our article is dedicated to all those who are willing, ready and able to start their own newspapers. Here, you’ll know everything about RNI registration in India.

What is RNI registration?

RNI registration is an authorization that’s obtained from the Registrar of newspapers in India. Government under Press and Registration of Books Act of 1857, this ancient act have laid the foundation for the Registry of Newspaper in India. As such, the Registrar is responsible for:

  1. Providing the RNI online registration to those looking for a way to start newspaper in India.
  2. Maintaining a registry of active newspapers in India.

Let’s now discuss how to obtain the titular registration in India.

There are two levels of RNI registration, you must understand them first

Most business licensed have only one level – you file the application, the application is accepted and you get the license. That’s the end of story. Well, it’s the story of those who want to start a newspaper in India. You can only obtain the RNI registration certificate if you follow two levels of the registration process.

  1. RNI title registration: At this level, it’s the title of your newspaper that will get the approval. Without the approval for the title, there is no point for the Registrar of Newspaper in India to check on the content of your newspaper.
  2. RNI content registration: It’s the second and the final level of the registration process. It’s the level where you’re required to present the contents of your newspaper to the RNI office.

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RNI Title registration – the first level

Following are the steps you’re required to take to get approval for your newspaper’s title:

  1. Choosing the right Title for your newspaper: As you might as well aware, uniqueness plays a major role in any product’s name if you want to launch. However, with the newspaper, being unique is not enough. While you could use gibberish terms to get trademark registration, for newspaper titles, the name of the newspaper should have a proper meaning. Go through the names of the current newspapers and find the common denominator among them. Implement that denominator with your unique name and you’re done.
  2. File the online application for RNI title registration: The application for RNI online registration has to be filed, as the name suggests, through online means. You’re also required to upload the documents required at the same time. It’s the only application you’ll file to get approval to publish your newspaper.
  3. Take the print out of the application and the documents: While the online documents required for RNI registration will be sent to the Office of Registrar of newspaper in India, you also need to send the offline application to the local authorities. They are your SCM/DM/JCM etc.
  4. Get the title approval letter: Once both the authorities – local authority and the office of RNI – approves your application, you will receive a title verification letter.

RNI content certification – Getting the RNI registration certificate

After obtaining the title verification letter, it’s time for you to get approval for the content you’re about to publish. Following are the steps to get RNI registration for content:

  1. File a declaration that you’ve received the RNI title verification letter.
  2. Go to the local authorities so that they can authenticate the declaration
  3. Attach the authenticated declaration with the published work: Once you obtain authentication for the declaration, you’ll have 42 to 90 days to publish the first copy of your newspaper.
  4. Get the final certificate.

The Process is Tough

Let’s re-answer your original question – yes, the process is tough. However, it’s inescapable, even if you have an online news portal. Yes, you’re right, even RNI registration for online news portal is now a thing.

So what to do when the process is difficult and fees is confusing. Simple! You reach out to a RNI registration agent. They possess knowledge of the correct fees, and they can provide end to end service.

While the process is difficult, the only way to make it easy is to make someone else go through it.


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