The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC) training workshop aimed at developing and sustaining media interest in the delivery of credible, transparent and peaceful elections in the Sub-Region is underway in Abuja, Nigeria.
ECONEC considers the media as playing key functions as a medium for public information, education and dissemination of useful and factual reports for political inclusiveness, assist other political stakeholders to ensure citizenry lived up to their civic responsibilities and make knowledge-based decisions in the choice of their leaders.
The workshop which was on the theme: ‘Professional Reporting of Elections,’ was organised by ECONEC and ECOWAS in collaboration with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).
The ECONEC workshop also sought to build the capacity of media professionals in elections management and reporting, support and advocacy to become indispensable in the democratic process.
The media training will also involve mapping, international standards, message development, peace-building, avoidance of conflict inciting reporting, responsible systems for effective contribution to electoral integrity and development of democratic process.
It is a platform to engage with journalists in conventional and social media sectors focusing on constitutional and social responsibilities for protection of national security, promotion of democracy and good governance.
The capacity building will serve as the basis to create a corps of well-informed media professionals with requisite skills in election reporting, contribute to the creation of an enlightened electorate, make informed choices in election of their leaders for promotion of credible, transparent, peaceful elections, democracy and good governance.
It will help reduce conflict/crisis inciting reporting and hate speech during election periods, minimise risks posed by social media and harnessing advantages of media diversity, pluralism to boost credible, peaceful, transparent elections and consolidation of democracy.
The training will build mutually beneficial relationship between the media and other stakeholders including political leadership, security agencies, Election Management Bodies (EMBs), civil society and development partners to promote credible elections and good governance in the region. –GNA