The Election Commission has banned the use of motorcycles for journalists in all sorts of the election as per the latest guideline for journalists.
“A rational number of car stickers will be provided for the travelling of journalists. But no permission can be given for the use of motorcycles,” said in the section-6 of the guideline issued on Wednesday.
Besides, if any instruction is not followed, action will be taken against the concerned journalists and recruiting organisations as per the electoral laws and rules, said the guideline.
Earlier, the previous election commission headed by KM Nurul Huda also tried to slap a ban on the use of motorcycles by journalists during election, but the EC scrapped the decision finally as the journalist community raised objection against the decision.
To get permission to cover elections as per the latest guideline, applications in official letterhead have to be submitted to the Election Commission Secretariat or the returning officer concerned at least three days before the polls. Necessary papers and photographs will have to be attached with the application.
A journalist with a valid permission card will have access to a polling station, but the person will have to inform the presiding officer concerned immediately after entering any polling station. The journalist can glean information, take photographs, record videos inside the polling station, but can no way take pictures inside secret booths. Journalists from more than two media houses can’t enter any polling booth simultaneously and can’t stay there for more than 10 minutes.
According to the guideline, the journalists can’t take interviews of election officials, election agents or voters inside the polling booth, can’t do live-telecast from there rather will have to maintain a safe distance in case of live broadcast, and can in no way create obstacles for the voting activities.
The journalists can witness the vote counting and take pictures of it but can’t do telecast live about it.
In addition, no telecast can be done through social media including Facebook from the polling booth.
The journalists will have to refrain from any act which disrupts the polling process of the polling centre and can’t interfere in the work of election officials and can’t touch or remove any electoral materials.
The journalists will have to refrain from campaigning or spreading hatred for or against any candidate or political party during gathering election news as per the guideline signed by EC’s assistant director (public relations) Ashadul Haque.
UNB . Dhaka
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