LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) on Tuesday challenged the country’s media managers on elections objective reporting by refrained from sensational reporting ahead of the 2019 Tripartite Elections.
MEC chairperson Jane Ansah said the media has a critical role to play in the electoral cycle through dissemination of accurate and balanced information.
“We are engaging media managers because they are gatekeepers who work with reporters. Noting that the forthcoming tripartite elections will be highly contentious, we thought of engaging them throughout the election cycle so that they should be equipped with knowledge and skills.
“Since it is difficult to regulate the social media, people pass false information which can cause a lot of problems in the election cycle. People mask names when reporting information and post sensational information,” urges Ansah.
In his remarks, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) chief technical adviser for elections Richard Cox noted that the media is instrumental in the provision of information throughout the elections cycle; hence, the need to share a common understanding with MEC.
“The media has a powerful role to play in the electoral process. We want a common understanding between MEC and the media in terms of the work undertaken to deliver electoral services.
“We understand that the media is biased all over the world but there should be a key understanding of the work that MEC is doing in the electoral process.”
MEC organised the two day media managers workshop targeting online, electronic and print media houses in equipping them with responsible elections reporting skills.