A news item with same content and similar pictures appearing in two or more newspapers in favour of any candidate contesting the assembly elections in Haryana will be treated as "paid news", District Electoral Officer- cum-Deputy Commissioner Shekhar Vidyarthi said here today.
He said newspapers and TV channels including local cable feed were being scrutinised daily for identifying "paid news" and any such item is noticed, action will be taken against the candidate as per the Election Commission guidelines.
Vidyarthi said that a district-level Media Certification & Monitoring Committee (MCMC) has been constituted for keeping a watch on political advertisements in all the four assembly segments of Gurgaon district.
The committee is scrutinising political advertisements on TV channels, cable networks, FM radios, social media and print media. For this purpose, four sub-committees have been constituted in the district.
The contesting candidates or groups or association are required to take certification from the MCMC for all types of audio-visual advertisements of political nature.
For advertisements of national or state political parties having their party headquarters in Delhi or Chandigarh, the certification can be sought from the state-level MCMC formed under the Chief Electoral Officer of Haryana.
He said that for certification, they need to apply in prescribed format with two copies of advertisement in electronic form and a certified transcript.
Registered parties or their candidates are required to apply in prescribed format at least three days before the proposed date of telecast while unregistered parties or other candidates should apply at least seven days prior to the proposed date of telecast of a particular item.
Vidyarthi also appealed to all journalists to restrain publishing of news reports that are in fact self-promotion material or advertisement in shape of news item provided by the candidate in the fray.
The district-level MCMC comprises Zonal Administrator of Marketing Board Gurgaon Alka Chowdhary, DETC Sunila Singh, DIPRO Gurgaon R S Sangwan (Member Secretary) and Senior Correspondent A K Chauhan as its other members.