New Delhi: The Election Commission on Thursday sought media`s active cooperation in checking the menace of paid news, saying it is equal to muscle and money power.
"Paid news is a matter of concern for us. It is equal to muscle power and money power... Media can play a big role in checking it," said Election Commissioner H S Brahma as he underlined that democracy can be strengthened only when there is a "solid" media.
He said while exit polls in multi-phased elections have been banned, the commission has not been able to achieve that success related to opinion polls.
Brahma was speaking during the release of a book "Poll surveys in media -- An Indian perspective", authored by N Bhaskara Rao.
Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor said the book is "fascinating, rich in data, timely and extremely valuable".
On the whole, he said the author seems to share Election Commissions view and the political parties view that there should be restraint on what the media reports before during and after the election results.
However, he said that one must accept that this is not the practice in other countries.
He said the book also seeks to answer questions like why exit polls during elections are banned here when such data often come out in TV in America while voting is still going on.