//Guidelines issued for media coverage

Guidelines issued for media coverage

To be in force for 48 hours preceding the close of polls in each phase

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Electoral Officer Nalini Netto has instructed the visual media and All India Radio not to telecast or broadcast any election-related programme during the 48-hour period preceding the close of polls in each phase of the Assembly elections.

All election-related telecast or broadcast such as debates, surveys, advertisements and propaganda, Ms. Netto said, should be stopped 48 hours before the close of polls in the first phase, that is, from 5 p.m. on April 20 to 5 p.m. on April 22 (the date of polling in the first phase).

Such broadcast or telecast can be resumed after 5 p.m. on April 22 and continued up to 5 p.m. on April 27. No election-related broadcast or telecast will be permitted from 5 p.m. on April 27 to 5 p.m. on April 29 (the date of polling in the second phase).

Similarly, broadcast or telecast can be resumed after the close of the poll in the second phase, that is, at 5 p.m. on April 29 and continued up to 5 p.m. on May 1 (48 hours before the close of polling in the third phase).

As per the standing instruction of the Election Commission, all election campaign and propaganda by political parties and candidates should be stopped 48 hours before the end of poll on the polling date. The clarification has been issued following doubts raised by the media over the implementation of this restriction in a three-phase poll, as the telecast or broadcast of election-related programmes cannot be restricted to any particular area in the State, she said.

http://www.hindu.com/2006/04/04/stories/2006040415900400.htm