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Politics of Monday, 15 February 2016

Source: GNA

US to strengthen media skills in Election Reporting

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The Public Affairs Section of the United States Embassy is to prepare Ghanaian media practitioners on strings of topics about effective online election reporting ahead of the November Polls.

The training programme scheduled Tuesday, February 16, is expected to sharpen skills of reporters, editors, producers, bloggers and anyone reporting or writing about elections in Ghana for comprehensive and objective reporting to enhance peaceful elections.

“The Embassy cordially invites you or your representative to participate in an online election reporting workshop...,” Zainab Mahama, Information Specialist at the US Embassy, said, on Thursday, in a letter to the Ghana News Agency.

The workshop, which would broadly focus on: “Reporting on Elections in Africa,” is expected to feature experience speakers like Jerelyn Eddings, a Senior Programme Director, Knight International Journalism Fellowships, and Judy Yablonky, a Media Consultant and Journalism Trainer.

Ms Mahama noted that the media played a crucial role in Africa’s democratic process, particularly, before, during, and after the polls in the numerous elections set to take place on the continent this year.

“Election Reporting in Africa is challenging, journalists face a host of obstacles, ranging from restrictions on press freedom to difficulties reporting from locations where there is limited polling or voting outcome data,” she said.

She said the virtual workshop was projected to introduce journalists in the region to best practices in election reporting as well as the opportunity to interact with international journalists experienced in election coverage in Africa and beyond.

Workshop speakers, she said, would introduce and reinforce professional standards in the many aspects of reporting on elections and addressing the importance of an impartial media and its relationship with both the government and the public during the electoral process.

It would address sub topics like Election Processes and covering campaigns (analysing content of candidates’ electoral programmes and speeches, polling information, candidates’ debate coverage).

Other topics include journalists’ rights to information during an election; the difference between journalists and election observers; how to prepare a coverage plan; personal safety during election coverage and post-election reporting.