Jammu and Kashmir: Two media portals asked to take down ‘partisan’ content | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Jammu and Kashmir: Two media portals asked to take down ‘partisan’ content

ByAshiq Hussain, Srinagar
Apr 20, 2024 02:24 AM IST

The district election office in Srinagar issued similarly worded notices to editors of the two publications, asking them to remove the content within a day

The election authorities in Srinagar have issued notices to two media portals for broadcasting content that allegedly favours a particular political party and sought explanations for their actions.

The election authorities favours a particular political party and sought explanations for their actions. (HT File)
The election authorities favours a particular political party and sought explanations for their actions. (HT File)

The district election office in Srinagar, which is headed by deputy commissioner Srinagar Bilal Bhat has issued similarly worded notices to editors of the two publications, asking them to remove the content within a day.

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“As such, you are asked to explain your position in this regard in light of the Press council of India and MCC guidelines and remove the content from all media handles instantly,” said one of the notices signed by nodal officer, model code of conduct (MCC), Srinagaron Wednesday.

The portals had broadcast video interviews or vox pop asking people about their choices to vote. The interviews were then shared by a political party on its social media handles and by those of its spokespersons.

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While HT could not locate the content on the social media handles of the news portals, it was still present on the social media handles of the political party in question.

The representatives of the two publications told HT that the videos were old and have already been removed as per the directions.

The notice, while justifying its directions, said that the Section 126A of RP. Act, 1951 advised media to refrain from telecasting/publishing programmes including predictions by astrologers, tarot readers and political analysts etc which in any way whatsoever predict the results of the elections during the prohibited period.

“Whereas section 126A Representation of People Act, 1951 prohibits displaying of any election related matter including opinion polls by means of cinematograph, on television or similar apparatus during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of polls,” it said.

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It stated that reports in the shape of electronic media content were carried under the banner of the news outlets which “favour a particular political party thus prejudicing the level playing field in favour of other political parties.”

It also stated that the Press Council of India was of the view that the newspaper should not allow their forum to be used for distortions and manipulations of elections and should not allow themselves to be exploited by the interested parties.

“Whenever newspapers publish pre-poll surveys they should take care to preface them conspicuously by indicating the instructions which have carried such surveys, the individuals and organisations which have commissioned the surveys, the size and nature of sample selected and possible margin of error in findings,” the notice said.

The notices said that the prohibitory period was approaching in few constituencies and some of the political parties have uploaded the content in their personal and party media handles. “So there is every chance that the same would remain there and would violate the guidelines of Model Code of Conduct and MCMC guidelines and would also come under paid news category,” it stated.

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