Nelly Bassily | August 5, 2013
Elections mean heightened media coverage and reporting. They are often fought with competitive or negative language, as each political party battles hard to win the election. This can lead to rising tensions and even violent conflict.
The role of journalists is particularly crucial during the election process. Journalists use their professional skills to deliver thorough, verified, and unbiased information, properly sourced, to their listeners or readers. This training guide offers guidelines to help journalists covering elections contribute to a fair, transparent, and peaceful process.
The training guide is designed for journalists covering African elections, particularly in situations of extreme tension or post-conflict reconstruction. It encourages good journalistic practices before, during and after elections in order to manage conflicts that can arise during this transitional period.
The guide is based on the activities that Search for Common Ground (SFCG) conducted in Burundi and Guinea. It also reflects SFCG’s experience in Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda. As such, it offers an opportunity for journalists to benefit from the experience of peers who have actively participated in responsible media election coverage.
The free, 26-page guide is available to download through this link: http://www.sfcg.org/programmes/rfpa/pdf/2011-Responsible_Media_Elections_Color_EN.pdf