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ECN urges media professionalism

2024-05-29  Correspondent

ECN urges media professionalism

Lahja Nashuuta


The Electoral Commission of Namibia’s chief electoral and referenda officer, Peter Shaama, has urged the media to commit themselves to the highest ethical standards and professionalism in their coverage of the upcoming general elections, slated for November.

Shaama said the media must serve as the cornerstone of democracy, and in the execution of the election processes, media involvement is important as a public educator in terms of information dissemination and voters’ and civic education.

“The media needs to maintain a high level of professionalism, accuracy and impartiality in their coverage of the election processes, including voter and civic education, general registration of voters and Presidential and National Assembly elections,” he said. He made these remarks while addressing journalists during the commission’s media engagement seminar held in Windhoek yesterday.

The seminar is part of the ECN stakeholders’ engagement programmes that intend to update the media on progress made since the launch of the election calendar in March this year.

The calendar highlighted all electoral activities slated for the year.

Shaama expressed the commission’s readiness, while highlighting progress executed in the pre-election phase.

“The objective of this workshop is, therefore, to engage the media as one of the key stakeholders in the electoral process with a view to underscore the vital role the media will play towards ensuring free and fair elections,” he said.

He further maintained that the media can play a contributory role in ensuring the entire electorate and public are kept abreast of developments in a timely manner.

He said the media serves as a platform for debate and discussion to ensure voters can educate other voters, politicians, and electoral staff.

The media also serves as a mechanism for transparency to ensure voters are provided with information necessary to fully evaluate the conduct of officials as well as the process, and provide a campaign platform to ensure the public is educated in the political agendas of all participating parties and candidates equally.

Shaama, therefore, urged media practitioners to adhere to journalism ethics by upholding principles such as independence, integrity, and accountability.

2024-05-29  Correspondent

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