Poll code: BBMP sets up media monitoring com

Bengaluru: The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has geared up to ensure that the model code of conduct is not violated and media organisations do not publish or telecast paid news, hurting the sentiments of other parties or candidates, within the BBMP limits. 

The Palike has set up a Media Monitoring and Certification Committee in the Annexure building of the BBMP head office, where the team will monitor all local news channels and newspapers to check whether they carry any paid news reports related to any candidate or political party. 

If any media organisation is found guilty, the matter will be reported to the state election commission, which will take further action.

A senior BBMP officer, who is part of the team, told Deccan Chronicle, “This is routine work and before every election, the committee is formed. This time too, we have formed a strong team, which has around 60 people working in three shifts. The first shift is from 6 am to 2 pm, the second from 2 pm to 10 pm and the third from 10 pm to 6 am.”

He said, “BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad, staff from the public information department, officials from the state election commission, BBMP public relations officer and senior journalists will supervise and guide the team.”

The team members will monitor all news items related to elections and politics telecast in local news channels and also collate clippings from newspapers and file them. 

All the files will be sent to the state election commission which will be documented, said another senior officer, who is part of the committee.

Members working at the cell should be careful and responsible. 

If any negligence is reported, they will be subjected to inquiry and further action will be taken, the officer said.

The officer also said that once the candidates file the nominations, they are allowed to publish advertisements.  But the content should be sent to the information department, who will scrutinise it and only after their approval, the candidates can publish the advertisements or play speech recordings.

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