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Cachar Media Monitoring Cell gears up for Assembly polls

By The Assam Tribune

Silchar, March 4: Ahead of the Assembly elections, the Cachar district administration has accelerated it's administrative mechanism in terms of media monitoring and certification of advertisements in the mass media.

The Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC) headed by Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli, in its first meeting with the press persons have made its intentions clear that close vigil would be kept on candidates' use of print electronic and social media for publicity during the electoral campaign phase. Also, the committee will keep a tab on the expenses incurred by the candidates related to their advertisements in the media.

Voting in Cachar district is slated to be held on April 1, in the second phase of the poll schedule for the state.

ADC Dr Khaleda Sultana Ahmed, member of the MCMC said " it is the democratic right of candidates contesting in the election to reach out to voters by publicising their claims on media platforms. However, we in the administration shall keep a close eye on proper certification of advertisements and also on news content during the pre election phase. The advertisements featuring the candidates in fray must carry due certification from the MCMC cell 48 hours before publication or telecast." She also informed that following the Election Commission of India guidelines, candidates, at the time of filing nominations must declare their official social media accounts which shall be placed on record.

Dr SM Alfarid Hussain, assistant professor at Department of Mass Communication at Assam University Silchar who is a member of the MCMC said " there is a thin line between editorials and advertorials which the committee will closely monitor along with news content disseminated by local to national news channels."

District Media Expert, Suman Choudhury informed that along with surveillance on paid news and fake news under the purview of Model Code of Conduct the social media portals will be under close monitoring during the build up to the elections. Additional SP(HQ) Jagadish Das, assistant commissioner Maria Tanim, veteran journalist JL Choudhury, assistant director RNU All India Radio Silchar, news correspondent All India Radio Silchar Ritesh Pathak are the other members to the committee.

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