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Media plays key role in making poll fair, free and violence-free: Gitte

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By TC News Desk

Agartala, January 10, 2023: A delegation of the Election Commission of India is coming to Agartala on 11 January 2023 on the occasion of the upcoming assembly elections, said Chief Electoral Officer of Tripura Kiran Gitte.

CEO Gitte said that media in the state has an important role to play in making the upcoming elections fair, free and violence-free.He said this while addressing as a chief guest at a workshop “Vartalap” organized by PIB Agartala for journalists associated with the news media held at Gitanjali Guest House, Kunjban, Agartala,

Organized by PIB Agartala, the main objective of this discussion and exchange meeting titled “Media and Elections – Election Risk Management and Media Communication” was to bring together media workers, state government officials, office of the Chief Electoral Officer and officials of the Information and Cultural Affairs in view of the upcoming assembly elections in the state. Building a platform of coordination

While speaking as a chief guest at the workshop, Chief Electoral Officer of Tripura Kiran Gitte said – a high-ranking delegation of the Election Commission of India is coming in the state tomorrow.

He said that last month the process of special revision of voter list was completed. This is the first time in Tripura that the names of more than 65,000 new voters have been enrolled.He said Special arrangements are being made for specially abled voters and better management for all voters on the day of polling, he saidThe CEO said the voter turnout was high in Tripura. However, there are 929 booths in remote areas of the state where the voter turnout is 50-60 percent.“Initiatives have been taken in these booths so that more number of voters can participate in the election process”, said CEO.

He said that the commission is continuing its efforts to make the people aware everywhere to make elections free from violence. The Chief Electoral Officer stated that all measures will be taken as per the Commission’s guidelines for media personnel during the election, especially on the day of polling and counting.He sought the cooperation of the media to make the upcoming assembly elections free, fair and violence-freeMr. Pranab Sarkar, Secretary of Agartala Press Club and Editor of Headlines Tripura, Mr. Jayanta Bhattacharya, Member of the Editorial Board of Press Trust of India (PTI) and Mr. Anirban Roy, senior journalist working in Guwahati, Assam were present as special guest and speakers in the workshop.

The speakers discussed in detail about the opportunities and challenges of journalism in the changing environment and the improvement of election reporting.

 In particular, senior journalist Anirban Roy has discussed in detail the methods of verifying the authenticity of news obtained from social media sources.

Senior Journalist Shri Roy gave a detailed presentation on Appreciating the Ethical Use of Digital Tool in info Dissemination, vis a vis Effective Electioneering.

He flagged the potential of “fake social media narratives” to affect the free and fair conduct of elections in the world.

He said, “The news gathering has become challenging in this digital era. To compete with rival media organizations and maintain speed, reporters depend heavily on open-source information. Facebook photos & posts, tweets, instagram and whatsapp Groups are news-gathering sources. Open-source information is not authenticated and it is often wrong or even fake. Often journalists land in trouble for writing information, which may not be 100 percent true.”

Expressing his concern over the prevailing trend Shri Roy exalted that it is high time journalists should now learn to face and handle the Disinformation War in large democracies like India, especially during the elections. Multi-tasking Journalists covering elections will need to add another feather to their hat – Digital Forensics, he added. Journalists should learn to identify fake photos and videos; identify fake tweets. He also gave examples of many online tools through which fact-checking can be done very easily.

All highlighted the importance of an impartial media and its relationship with the government and the general public during the electoral process

PIB Agartala Media and Communication Officer Gopjit Das (IIS) welcomed everyone at the beginning of the workshop. Representatives of various newspapers and electronic media of Agartala participated in this one day workshop.

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