Tuesday, September 28, 2010

paid news edtiors guild meets election commission

28 Sept 2010


By R Rajagopalan
NEW DELHI: The Election Commission will be monitoring for the first time "paid news" in the print and electronic media report during the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections.

It has rushed to the Bihar chief electoral officer the revised formats of daily reports to be filed by candidates and the media expenditure monitoring team of the commission.

Earlier, the monitoring team comprising observers posted by the commission in each district used to keep a tab only on advertisements in newspapers, television including cable TV and radio, but a new column has been added in the format to provide "details of paid news" and cost of such paid news.

The Election Commission has already examined the menace of the "paid news" that was rampant during the last Lok Sabha elections and decided to include the cost of such news in the expenditure of the candidates to check if they are exceeding the ceilings on expenditure by resorting to "paid news" instead of issuing advertisements.

The Press Council of India (PCI) had also expressed grave concern over the ordinary reader being taken for a ride as he believes the "paid news" in print and electronic media as genuine assessment of the media. The PCI, however, left it up to the Election Commission to take the remedial measures.

The Election Commission has also discussed the issue in a meeting with all political parties and the study being undertaken in Bihar now through collection of precise data of the "paid news" may lead to remedial formulations in the coming elections, the commission sources said.


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