Print media influences Gujaratis more: Election Commission

Print media

A KABP survey by the Election Commission of India revealed a host of behavioural patterns.

A survey of knowledge, attitude, behaviour and practices (KABP) of people conducted by the office of Chief Electoral Officer, Gujarat, has found that majority of voters in the state were influenced by the news, analysis and opinions expressed in the print media.

This was stated by Election Commission of India (ECI) representatives Akshar Raut and P K Das at a press briefing here on Thursday.

They said it was against the trend in other states where a majority of voters were influenced by the elections news, views and analysis aired on the electronic media.

Refusing to give full details of the survey as it was yet to be analysed completely, the officials said the role of print media in the state was very significant in this respect. This indicated that the commission needed to monitor the print media more closely and deeply so as to keep a check on "paid news" during the Assembly elections, they added.

They said the survey was conducted to understand the perception of voters in participation or non-participation in elections, adding that Gujarat was among the states that had the lowest voter turnout in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

They appealed to the media to educate voters to vote with a view to increase the polling percentage for the purpose of strengthening democracy. They also urged the voters to go for "ethical voting", that is, without being influenced by the allurement of any kind by political parties or the candidates.

When questioned if the social networking media on the Internet would also come under the purview of "paid news", they said the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC) would keep a watch on all social networking sites to find out if money paid a role in "net campaigning" of either candidates or parties. Whatever action deemed necessary would be initiated against the candidates and parties in this connection, they added.

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