Tuesday, May 21
State Nodal Officer for Media for LS Election chairs meeting regarding coverage, other matters

State Nodal Officer for Media for LS Election chairs meeting regarding coverage, other matters

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Kargil: Joint Director, Information, Ladakh, Imteeaz Kacho, who is the State Nodal Officer for Media (Ladakh) for the forthcoming General Elections on Saturday chaired a meeting at Council Secretariat regarding coverage of the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections.

The meeting was attended by Assistant Director, DIPR-Kargil, Murtaza Ali; Assistant Information Officer, Anwar Ali Tsarpa; Copy Editor/Editorial Executive, All India Radio Kargil, Mohd. Abdullah; Copy Editor/Correspondent AIR Kargil, Anayat Ali; Stringer, Doordarshan Kargil, Mansoor Ahmed; President, Press Club Kargil, Hosain ibn Khalo, senior media person Ghulam Nabi Zia and other members of Press Club of Kargil; representatives of printing/publishing agencies as well as independent media persons.

During the meeting, the Joint Director lauded the efforts of the media fraternity for vigorously playing a proactive role in disseminating awareness about the importance of voting in elections.

He then lauded the efforts of media efforts towards highlighting SVEEP activities besides supporting the election authorities in disseminating information regarding activities/campaigns on Information, Education & Communication (ICE).

While pointing out that the Election Commission lays special focus on voter education and electoral literacy, he urged them to continue supporting this cause so that no voter is left behind.

Various aspects of election guidelines like media facilitation, advertisements of political parties in print and electronic media, surrogate advertisements, fake news and paid news and procedure for coverage inside the polling stations as well as in the counting hall were discussed during the meeting.

He directed them to remain cautious about fake news and cross-check any news before broadcasting or telecasting from their respective media platforms. He also cautioned the media persons about the paid news which needs to be strictly monitored.

Further, he advised them to restrict their movement, upto the designated areas, during coverage on voting day in polling stations and subsequently in the counting halls.

Assistant Director, Information, Murtaza Ali threw light on the functioning of the Media Certification & Monitoring Committee (MCMC) which is already in place at the District level. Besides keeping vigil on cases of paid news, this committee previews, scrutinizes, verifies and certifies all advertisements issued by contesting candidates or political parties before their dissemination at different platforms, he added.

Joint Director, Imteeaz Kacho also said that the committee will provide clearance certificates to political parties or contesting candidates before their content is telecast on television or digital/social media news platforms by any registered channel/cable network and the likes.

He also said that media passes will be issued to the media professionals for coverage of the polling process and also for coverage on the day of counting separately.

On issues related to printed material at the time of campaigning, the Joint Director directed the owners of printing and publication agencies to prominently highlight their details like phone number, e-mail id and business name in every banner, poster or pamphlet printed for any political party, organization or any individual candidate which will ensure transparency and accountability.

He advised the printing/publication agencies to read all the contents written on the advertisement material carefully to ensure that the content does not violate any rule/guideline prescribed by the Election Commission.

The Joint Director, Information strictly directed them not to print any content which aims at targeting a particular religion or community leading or anything inflammatory that may provoke people to resort to violence.

He also directed the printers and publication agencies to maintain their bills and expenditure books properly for the sake of accountability and transparency.

Kacho also advised the concerned officials to share the Election Control Room’s hotline number with the printing and publication houses so that they can all and seek guidance in case they face any difficulty with while dealing potentially inflammatory content.

During the course of the meeting, the media persons and printers/publishers threw light on many aspects of the entire election process and expressed hope about positive outcomes. They also expressed various concerns and got a chance to clear a number of doubts.

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