Fri, Jan 10, 2020 - Page 3 News List

2020 Elections: TV stations must give sources of vote counts: NCC

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Television stations should clearly indicate the sources from which they obtain vote counts during tomorrow’s elections, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said on Wednesday.

“We want to remind TV stations that they are responsible for verifying the information and reporting vote counts based on their cited sources. We would also ask them to explain if we receive the complaints from viewers about discrepancies in the vote counts,” the commission said.

The Satellite Television Broadcast Association last month announced the ethical guidelines governing cable news channels’ reports of vote counts on election day, the commission said.

Based on the guidelines, the channels are to stop airing or replaying election-related news and political talk shows produced before 12am tomorrow, the association said.

All cable news stations tomorrow should cover the presidential and legislative elections in a fair manner to avoid campaigning for a certain candidate or party.

Vote counts displayed on TV screens should be real and come from reliable sources, and viewers should be able to verify the authenticity of the vote counts, the association said.

TV stations should clearly cite the sources for vote counts if they do not get the information from the Central Election Commission (CEC), including the votes counted by political parties, candidates’ campaign headquarters and temporary field staff hired by TV stations to monitor elections nationwide, the association said.

Should candidates unilaterally announce that they have won their race, the news channels should remind viewers that they need to consult the CEC for final vote counts and results, it said.

If technical errors occur when reporting the votes, TV stations should quickly offer verbal and written corrections, it said.

They should also quickly clarify if the screenshots of the erroneous vote counts have also been circulated over the Internet, the association said.

TV stations should keep files of information related to vote counts, including the reports from their field staff, it added.

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