Paid news: EC’s media panel nails Congress candidate Lobo; who later clarifies…

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Mangalore: The Media Certification and Monitoring Committee has concluded that two reports aired by two news channels were instances of “paid news” and directed officials to treat them as advertisements and credit the expense against Congress candidate from Mangalore South J.R. Lobo.

The committee’s chairperson and Deputy Commissioner Harsha Gupta said the committee had issued notices to Mr. Lobo and a private local channel following telecast of a clipping related to his campaign. Another local channel telecast an interview with Mr. Lobo. After receiving explanations from Mr. Lobo and representatives of the two private channels, the committee concluded that the two cases were instances of “paid news”. The committee had issued notices suspecting paid news in seven instances of telecast by private channels.

Inquiry is being conducted on the complaint by Moodibidri MLA Abhayachandra Jain against a local newspaper accusing it of publishing a defamatory article, Mr. Gupta said..

‘Paid news’ :  JR Lobo clarifies;

Mangalore, Apr 23, 2013: Following the press meet by Deputy Commissioner Harsh Gupta wherein he informed that Congress candidate J R Lobo from Mangalore South constituency had been issued three notices pertaining to paid news, advocate M P Noronha, representing Lobo has issued the following clarification.

JR Lobo 11. “Returning Officer has issued three notices. One such notice is regarding the interview of J R Lobo taken by V4 Channel under its Title “Rajya Samara”. V4 Channel had taken interview of BJP candidate Yogesh Bhat also but no notice was issued to him.

2. The Times of India had published an article “Committee tightens screws on paid News”.  Adjacent to this news, a photo of J R Lobo seeking votes from general public was published. For such act of The Times of India, Returning Officer has issued a show cause notice to J R Lobo stating as to why such  article cannot be treated as paid news.

3. When J R Lobo was seeking votes from general public near Pandeshwar Temple, Sahaya TV interviewed Lobo for a few seconds. Returning Officer has issued show cause notice as to why the same cannot be considered as paid news.

“All three notices have been suitably replied to. J R Lobo has not paid any money to news channels or to The Times of India,” Noronha clarified. Even if any adverse orders are passed by the Returning Officer, at best they can add those expenses to the account of the candidate. Besides this there is a provision for appeal.

Hence the public should not be misled by the press conference of the deputy commissioner,”the advocate for JR Lobo said.

He is a Software Engineer from Moodbidri currently living in Kuwait. He likes to travel and post interesting things about technology. He is the designer of Kannadigaworld.com. You may follow him on FB at fb.com/alanpaladka

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