'Paid news' on Election Commission radar

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Election Commission
New Delhi, Sept 24: Just before the Assembly Polls beginning in November, the Election Commission has decided to step up monitoring the content of the paid news channels and newspapers. The Election Commission, hence, has decided to put in place a round-the-clock mechanism to monitor these channels during the polls and the run up to them in the national capital territory.

In fact, the commission is likely to discuss the scope of exploring effective ways to deal with paid news channels with the Ministry of Information and Broadcastig. In a workshop to sensitise media channels before the polls, the EC Director-General Akshay Rout said,"the poll panel will keep a strong vigil to check the menace during polls and punitive action will be taken as per provisions of the law. The 24 hours mechanism is likely to be put in place once the notification for the assembly polls is issued."

The district electoral officers are likely to head these content-monitoring committees for both print and electronic media. And if any of the candidates are found guilty of paying news channels for a particular piece, he/she would be asked for a show cause as to why he/she has not included the expenses meted out in getting the news published in the electoral expenditures.

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