The cell will track all news stories on electronic and social media ahead of the Lok Sabha election

The Chennai District Election Office has set up a media cell and media centre to detect and control paid news in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections. Based on directions from the Election Commission of India, the media cell and centre, located at Ripon Buildings, commenced operations on Wednesday.

Starting this week, the media cell will screen all news stories in broadsheet newspapers and tabloids to spot news stories likely to have been influenced by political parties using monetary rewards. It will also track all news stories on electronic and social media ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The members will include city-based journalists and district election officials.

The cell will send reports of paid news stories to the District Election Officer on a daily basis. News stories that favour a particular candidate during the elections are likely to be under the scanner for content associated with paid news.

The cell will also keep a record of all news on candidates. Estimates of money spent on elections will also be made based on the assessment of records.

The District Election Office will initiate action against violations of the model code of conduct by political parties. The media centre will include a helpline and call centre.

More In: Chennai | Society