Journalists cannot use motorbikes on voting day
Dhaka: The Election Commission (EC) has issued a guideline for journalists on what journalists can or cannot do while covering the election slated for December 30.
More than a dozen directives including a bar on the journalists from using motorcycles to collect news were handed out by the Election Commission in a letter signed by the EC joint secretary (Public Relations) SM Asaduzzaman on Friday, reports the UNB.
However, journalists and election observers can travel on vehicles with the stickers provided by the EC.
If any journalist violates any of these codes of conduct, legal action will be taken against him/her or the organization concerned according to the election law, warned the commission.
According to the guideline, journalists will be allowed to enter the polling centres after securing permission from the concerned presiding officer to take photographs, make videos and collect information, but must abstain from taking photos and videos of the secret area in each booth where voters go to put the seal on the ballot according to their choice.
However, multiple journalists together will not be allowed to enter a polling station at a time and broadcast live from the polling station or through social media, it said.
The guideline has already been sent to all the returning officers of the 11thparliamentary elections, it added.
It also said the journalists, who will be provided accreditation card from the office of Election Commission, can enter the polling centres.
Here are the key points of the guideline on what journalists can or cannot:
i) Live telecast from polling booth is restricted.
ii) Media can telecast live from a safe distance of voting booths on condition that the work in no way impedes the voting process.
iii) Journalists will be able to watch vote counting but cannot telecast live.
iv) No one will be allowed to broadcast election activities live through social media including Facebook.
v) Newsmen must abide by directives of presiding officers and cannot interfere on the activities of the election officials.
vi) Media men cannot campaign in favour of or against any candidate.
vii) Journalists will be able to watch vote counting but cannot telecast live.
viii) Reporters cannot enter polling booths in groups.