PESHAWAR – Experts on electoral and governance stressed journalists for highlighting election laws and code of conduct for the candidates to ensure transparency and impartiality of the public and private institutions in the general elections.
A 3-day training session for journalists on civic education, election laws and administrative and role of political parties was organised under the auspices of Individual Land, a research-based consultancy and advocacy organisation, in collaboration with another not-for-profit organisation Tabeer – Consolidating Democracy in Pakistan.
The workshop concluded on Sunday. Journalists both from print and electronic media participated in the workshop.
On the first day of the training, the participants were given tips on reporting on politics and political parties as well monitoring performance of the political parties while on the 2nd day, they were given detailed lecture on media’s role in efficient functioning of the Election Commission of Pakistan and key points of the Election Act 2017 and role of media to sensitize citizens regarding election laws.
Similarly, on 3rd day, experts on governance delivered speeches on civic education, governance, their elements, role of local governments, concept of citizenship, local governance and accountability and identifying civic indicators.
Addressing the participants, Khurram Malik from Tabeer said that media should thoroughly delineate manifestos released by political parties so that citizens are well aware about the roadmap that a party is going to follow if elected to form the government.
Shabir Ahmad, an elections expert while sensitising journalists on the Elections Act 2017 said, “The new Act has a number of distinguishing features from the previous laws, however; it is media’s responsibility to discuss these features in their elections related reporting”.
Malik Masood from the Centre for Governance and Public Accountability (CGPA) while conducting the session on civic education and good governance said, “Civic education and good governance are inter-related, therefore; the media needs to educate citizens to become civic minded for better governance.”
The organization has already organised similar trainings in Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi and Quetta. Saghir Ahmed Naqash and Mushoud Ali facilitated the training on behalf of Individual Land Pakistan.