Some TV channels breaching EC guidelines - CAFFE | Daily News


EC says has warned both private and state media over unfair reportage:

Some TV channels breaching EC guidelines - CAFFE

Certain sections of the mainstream mass media were acting in breach of Elections Commission media guidelines in a subtle manner, elections watchdog Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE) said in a media statement yesterday. CAFFE drew special attention to news coverage by “certain TV channels” that, it said, were giving prominence to certain presidential candidates over others.

Elections Commissioner Professor Ratnajeevan Hoole told the Daily News that the Commission too was concerned about what he called the ‘unfair coverage’ but acknowledged that while the EC had a say over the state media, it lacked authority over the private media.

CAFFE said it was the duty and responsibility of each and every media institution to comply with the media guidelines issued by the Elections Commission in terms of section 104 A (5) subsection (A) (B) (C) (I) of the Sri Lanka constitution. Breaching of these guidelines would be an obstruction for the conduct of a free and fair election, it said.

The statement said CAFFE had set up a special unit to monitor the operation of mass media and internet social media during the Presidential election period. Data gathered by the monitoring unit would be included in CAFFE’s final election monitoring report. CAFFE charged that, where news programmes were concerned, certain television and radio channels were giving prominence to certain candidates over others.

The CAFFE statement added that the state and private television channels, in particular, were concentrating on the two main candidates only. Some sections of the electronic media were publishing false news causing injustice to some candidates. So far 536 instances where guidelines had been breached since the announcement of the Presidential election had been reported to CAFFE.

Election Commissioner Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole said the Commission has stressed the need to be fair for all Presidential candidates when it comes to allocation of air time in both state and private media.

He said though the Commission could directly intervene when it comes to the state media, the Commission’s authority is vague when it comes to the private media.

He said the Commission is presently assessing ways and means to make sure that all state and private media adhere to the media guidelines issued by the Commission.

He said that the Elections Commission has warned both the private and state media over unfair coverage.


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