Prior permission of the Election Commission authorities will be needed to publish election-related advertisements in print and electronic media, District Election Officer and District Collector C.A. Latha has said.

Ms. Latha said on Thursday that these advertisements should be cleared by the district-level media certification and monitoring committee (MCMC) before being released.

The committee held its first meeting at the Collectorate on Thursday and the District Collector presided over the meeting. Both hard copy and soft copy of the advertisement would have to be submitted for scrutiny, it said. The expenditure involved for producing and releasing the advertisement should also be furnished. Besides the District Collector, Deputy Director of Department of Information and Public Relations P. Vinod, Press Club president Kamal Varadoor, Assistant Development Commissioner K.P. Joseph, and District Information Officer Khader Palazhi were the members of the monitoring committee. Advertorials — advertisements dressed up as news — would also be treated as paid news and attract punishment if it was not as per the order, both for the publisher as well as the advertiser. Social media as well as SMSes would also be monitored by the committee.

Officials of Election Commission reviewed the arrangement for Lok Sabha polls in the district through video-conference at the Collectorate on Thursday.

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