-Ends Three Days Workshop Today
By Esau J. Farr
In an effort to push for sustained election reform coverage in the Liberian media a USAID sponsored partner, Internews has called on journalists in the country to give more attention to electoral reform reporting.
The call comes based on a baseline study which shows that most media institutions in Liberia do not focus their reportage on issues concerning electoral reform in Liberia.
Electoral reform reporting is the process of journalists writing and broadcasting information on changes or proposed policy reforms in electoral systems to improve how public desires are expressed in election results.
As a matter of fact, it has three cardinal areas which include Constitutional Reform which are normally reserved for proposed amendments, Election Law Reform which are subject to legislative actions and Election Guidelines.
Election guidelines are simply set of rules developed by the election body to regulate electoral activities in the country leading to free, fair and transparency election.
Key on the issues Internews and partners want journalists to focus on include but not limited to changes to election laws, citizens’ views on reform issues for suitable election systems amongst others.
The exercise which started on Monday February 25, 2019 is geared toward training and preparing selected journalists across the country to report on Electoral Reform and Election Reporting in Liberia ahead of the 2020 Mid-Term Senatorial Election and the 2023 Legislative and Presidential Elections.
According to the baseline study conducted by Internews, citizens, politicians and the media give serious attention to electoral reform only during election year or election nearing period.
At the end of the training, a fellow (journalists trained for the process) will be given researched and other supporting documents to aid them during an eight month mentorship period.
During the period, each fellow will be required to investigate, and report at least five stories that will highlight issues and concerns tied to electoral reform and election related stories for publication and or broadcast purpose.
Election and Electoral reporting can be troubling and sensitive due to political interest which when it is not carefully handled led to civil unrest as it has been mostly observed in African countries.