Srinagar: The Srinagar District Election Office Monday constituted a Media Certification & Monitoring Committee (MCMC) to keep a check on cases of paid news in the district a day after the Election Commission of India announced schedule for General Elections 2019.
The constitution of MCMC at district level is mandated under election rules once a schedule for elections is announced.
The committee will scrutinise print and electronic media to identify political advertisements in the garb of news in the media. It will also certify advertisements in the electronic media in the district.
District Election Officer Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary will head the committee whose other members will include Sub Divisional Magistrate West Hamida Akhter, Deputy Director M&C Press Information Bureau Ghulam Abass and Assistant Director Information Mohammad Aslam.
One of the members of the committee will be a social media expert as per the modified guidelines of ECI instructing for inclusion thereof in view of increasing concern about the emerging role of social media in the spread of information.
The Information department has been asked to nominate an accredited journalist who will be that intermediary expert member.
Social media advertisements of candidates will come under the model code and go through the same pre-certification process followed for advertisements in print and electronic media.
Candidates who might find the decisions of the committee unacceptable could appeal to the State-level body within 48 hours. The candidates could also approach the Election Commission against the decision of the State-level body and the decision of the EC would be final in this regard.