16.05.2013 - UNESCO Office in Amman

UNESCO reinforces journalists' role in the coverage of elections as the basis for democratic processes


15 journalists from Amman and other governorates participated this week in an intensive 4-day training workshop on elections reporting.

Facilitated by Albany Associates as a part of UNESCO’s EU-funded project on "Enhancing Professional and Accurate Media in the Electoral Process", the workshop focused on the representation of minorities and other social groups in the media, ways to avoid propaganda and the use of social media.

"Elections reporting is not just a news story as it involves particular skills such as disseminating figures and statistics, monitoring the voting process and raising the voices of all different groups of society. UNESCO’s commitment to accurate and holistic elections coverage is firmly based in our belief that professional media is a key component of any transparent and democratic electoral process," said Dr. Anna Paolini, Head of UNESCO Amman Office and UNESCO Representative in Jordan.

"The workshop looks at the role of the journalist in covering the elections, recognizing that we serve all the people, including minorities, so that citizens' concerns can be reflected and their voices can be heard. The discussions have been passionate and the level of engagement has been high" commented Mr. Andrew Boyd, facilitator of the workshop who brings more than 30 years of experience as a journalist, trainer and professor.

"Elections have become the integral part of the democratization process in many of the countries in the Arab region, even in those that did not go through a full revolution like Egypt and Tunisia. Jordan is one of these countries. The training of journalists on covering elections professionally has become a necessity, as it is the role of journalists to both inform the voter and to hold the candidates and politicians accountable," asserted Ms. Amani Soliman, trainer and journalist of 30 years’ experience.

The workshop promoted international media standards on elections coverage and showed best practice cases of elections reporting worldwide. The workshop also included a Training of Trainers session in order to assist the participants to later share the knowledge and skills gained from the workshop with other journalists.

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