The United States of America embassy in Sierra Leone, in partnership with the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists and the National Electoral Commission (NEC) will conclude two-day training for journalists on elections coverage and electoral processes today.
The training, which commenced on Tuesday 10 October 2017, at the Africel American Corner on Bathurst Street brought together 20 journalists from both the electronic and print media in Freetown.
The Information Media Assistant of the Embassy, Wotay Benjamin, said the training was crucial for journalists especially as the country was approaching the 2018 general elections.
Topics covered during the first day of the training include: The Media and Democracy; Legal Framework for Elections in Sierra Leone; Political Parties Candidates and Fair Access; Designing an Election Coverage Plan; Campaign Rhetoric and Citizens Oriented Journalism.
Today the session will cover: Electoral Process (from Voter Registration to Announcing Results); Election Coverage in Conflict or Volatile Situation; Rules for Journalists; Group work; Presentation of Group Work.
The Director of External Relations of NEC, Albert Massaquoi and Dr. Julius Spencer, representing SLAJ, served as facilitators during the training session. The facilitators stressed the importance of the media’s role especially in the area of informing and educating the public. The importance of fairness and in-depth research and familiarising with the electoral laws were also stressed on by the facilitators.
Participants were appreciative of the training. Most of them confessed that the ideas gathered during the first day were new. Ibrahim Tarawallie of Concord Times Newspaper said “the training was timely and crucial not just for the media but also for the public. This is the first training the media has received for the 2018 elections and for the training so far it has served as an eye-opener for journalist to be fair in reporting on the elections.” ES/10/10/17
By Edna Smalle
Wednesday October 11, 2017.