Shillong, November 17, 2017: State Chief Electoral Officer, Frederick Kharkongor said that his office has set up a team to keep a check on social media and try to ommit any news which is detrimental for a free and fair election in 2018.
“It’s a difficult task to check and control the news which are generated in the social media. But we will try our best to keep a check on the paid news to ensure a free and fair poll in the State,” Kharkongor said while speaking as one of the panelist on the topic “Challenges before the Media- Press and Election” during the National Press Day celebration yesterday.
According to Kharkongor, this will be a first for Meghalaya to witness technologies of such a kind to be used in the conduct of the 2018 elections.
Former Home Minister RG Lyngdoh observed that over the years the quality of reporting in the State has improved a lot. however he also feared that the influences of social media will take away the role of the mainstream media in a democratic country like India.
Senior journalist from Kashmir Iftikar Gilani while speaking on the occasion said that the media has failed Kashmir by not reporting objectively about the State’s “1987 rigged Assembly elections,” which has resulted in the present day militancy in the State.
“During that election there was widespread rigging of the polls. Even during the counting process there was rigging and the media didn’t report it despite everyone knowing it,” Gilani said.
The journalist said that several present day “separatists” leaders in Kashmir are sort of by-products of the rigged elections process of 1987. “Had the elections process was fair and free some of these leaders would now have been ex-MLAs, but unfortunately that didn’t happen as democracy was plugged and people took to militancy,” he said.