To check “paid news” during the process of the Assembly elections, the Election Commission has constituted media certification and monitoring committee (MCMC) at the State and district levels.
Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Anil Kumar Jha heads the five-member committee at the State level, while the returning officer heads the panel in each district.
Arakere Jayaram, former Chief of Bureau, The Hindu, Bangalore; Eshwar Daitota, former editor of Vijaya Karnataka; and Venkateswarulu , Additional DG, Press Information Bureau, Bangalore, are members of the State-level committee which will act as an appellate authority of the district-level MCMC, said an official press release.
The commission is yet to appoint its nominee to the State-level committee.
The Special Officer of the Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) campaign is the member-secretary of the panel. The district committees are headed by the returning officers and they verify the advertising contents sought to be published by political parties or their candidates before releasing them in the electronic and print media, the release said.
The State-level MCMC would look into complaints received by individuals or members of political parties with regard to paid news and other related things.
It would also initiate action against violations of election code of conduct by the political parties and direct the returning officers concerned to take necessary measures.