Fri | Feb 21, 2020

Media urged to practise responsible journalism in run-up to elections

Published:Monday | January 27, 2020 | 12:20 AM

GEORGETOWN (CMC):

A two-day training exercise to prepare media personnel for the upcoming General and Regional Elections began here on Saturday with President of the Guyana Press Association (GPA) Nazima Raghubir saying the training is necessary for the media to understand its role during elections’ coverage and to disseminate credible information. Raghubir also noted one of the intended outcomes of the training is to guarantee, “our work fosters an environment of social cohesion at an often-tense period.”

“As we approach this period, GPA would like to encourage media houses to have some introspection and examine how our work can impact on the greater good for this country in this period and beyond,” Raghubir emphasised.

“Examine whether or not we are writing the real stories that ought to be told. Are we covering the real issues tied to elections and the post-election period when the real work ought to begin? Are our headlines and soundbites informing our audiences and most importantly are we really holding our politicians accountable?” the GPA head continued.

Meanwhile, chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Justice Claudette Singh (ret’d) lauded the media’s role in providing coverage of the runup to elections, particularly coverage of Nominations Day.

“When the landscape is saturated with election content which provides knowledge to the citizenry to help them in the process, it encourages democracy,” the GECOM chair noted.

She also cautioned the media to practise responsible journalism. “In the interest of peace and stability, I urge you not to execute your functions at the expense of a peaceful society. Do not sensationalise your stories. Ensure that you have credible information,” the GECOM Chair remarked.