Editors Guild Demands Tough Actions against Candidates, Media for ‘Paid News’

The Editor’s Guild has expressed ‘grave concern’ over the ‘paid news’ phenomenon and asked the Election Commission of India to take strong actions against those candidates and media persons who are found involved in such practice, reported PTI.

Headed by president Rajdeep Sardesai, a delegation of the Guild called on Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla and submitted a memorandum, flaying the ongoing trend in certain quarters of purveying political advertisements as news, said report.

Sardesai said that the trend was dangerous and was threatening the foundations of journalism by eating into public faith, credibility and impartiality of news reporting, report said.

Admitting that there is no mechanism to monitor the candidates in all 543 constituencies, Chawla said that some random samples could be examined closely, said report.

Guild suggested raising the expenditure limit of the candidates to a ‘realistic level’, to which Chawla said that this was not under control of the Commission, for it is parliament that fixes the limit, report said.

Election Commissioner SY Qureshi said that the way complaints against Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan was handled in the recent assembly elections would serve as a test case to show the EC’s commitment to tackle the growing malaise of ‘paid news’, said report.

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