EC issues guidelines to check paid news

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New Delhi, Aug 20: In an effort to check the menace of paid news, the Election Commission on Friday issued a set of guidelines to effectively monitor political advertisement during election campaign.

As per the guidelines, all state Chief Electoral Officers will now have to obtain a list of all TV and radio channels and newspapers in the state as well as their standard advertisement rate cards six months before the term of the Lok Sabha or the State Legislative Assembly expires.

The Media Certification and Monitoring Committee at district and state level will have to monitor all political advertisements in relation to candidates, "either overt or covert".

The committees will intimate the Returning Officer for issue of notices to candidates for inclusion of notional expenditure based on standard rate cards in their election expenses account, "even if they actually do not pay any amount to the channel/newspaper, that is otherwise the case with paid news." The expenditure will also include publicity for a candidate by a "star campaigner" or others, to impact his electoral prospects.

A copy of the notice will also be sent to the Election Expenditure Observer, the guidelines said.

PTI

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