IMC launches election coverage & reporting rules

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By Rosaline Turay

Independent Media Commission (IMC) in collaboration with Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) with support from European Union (EU) on Monday 27th March, 2023 launched and popularized the Election Coverage and Reporting Regulations, and Print and Electronic Media Regulations held at Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel, Aberdeen, Freetown.

The launching and popularization of the two documents will be replicated in the provinces to keep media practitioners abreast of their critical role in election coverage and reporting.

In his brief statement, IMC Chairperson, Dr. Victor Massaquoi, expressed happiness for the launch of the two documents to ensure professionalism in election coverage.

He further called on the media to read, understand and apply the two documents in their work to avoid being pushed away by anyone of the professional ethics.

President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Ahmed Nasrallah, thanked IMC and IDEAS for the two documents, pointing out that election is the cornerstone of any democracy which the media has a responsibility to report professionally.

He said the media are expected to report credible, fair and balanced reporting devoid of false information that will affect the electoral processes.

In his keynote address, the Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swaray, said IMC’s job is very sensitive to ensure professionalism prevails in the media in election coverage.

He said the two documents would serve as formidable reference materials for journalists on election coverage and daily reportage, adding that the two regulations launched could be the best in Africa in promoting ethical reporting in the country.

IDEA Interim Head of Programme, Tawanda Chimhini, disclosed that International IDEA is an International Non-Governmental Organization (INGO) to support democracy and activities that promote peaceful election in a country.

He said the launch of the two regulations is to ensure the capacity of the media is enhanced in the coverage of elections.

Tawanda Chimhini said one of the biggest challenges they often face is the role of the media in elections which is not only unique in Sierra Leone but other countries as well.

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