The Bhutan InfoComm and Media Authority, BICMA, has been identified as the Office of the Media Arbitrator for the upcoming National Council Elections. The Election Commission appointed BICMA’s director as the Media Arbitrator a week ago. The Office of the Media Arbitrator is required to monitor all media coverage including social media leading. This is to ensure free and fair conduct of the election.
Jigme Wangdi, the Director of BICMA has been appointed as the Media Arbitrator for the upcoming National Council Elections. He has also served as the Media Arbitrator in the Local Government and Bye-elections previously.
According to the Media Coverage of Election Rules and Regulations of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2018, the Media Arbitrator shall be responsible to monitor all the news, programmes, advertisements, and social media content.
The Media Arbitrator shall also receive complaints, collect relevant documentation, investigate, and submit the findings to the Election Commission for appropriate action.
“We are responsible to ensure that whatever is printed or covered in audio-visual forms in the media industry is being fairly done for every candidate. So that free and fair election is ensured during the election process,” said Jigme Wangdi.
He added that monitoring social media was a challenge in the past elections.
“Main issue is regulating and looking at the contents of social media where anonymous people post unnecessary comments and then create issues out of it. Especially because we don’t have direct contact with the social media content providers like Facebook and WhatsApp or any other messaging apps. This is a challenge for us.”
However, the Election Commission has appointed twenty Social Media Monitors in each district to assist the Media Arbitrator in monitoring media contents.
Edited by Tshering Zam
The post BICMA, Office of Media Arbitrator for upcoming NC Elections appeared first on BBSCL.