3-day training workshop on media and elections concludes

ISLAMABAD    -    The three-day training workshop on the first-ever bridge course for journalists, titled “Media & Elec­tions” concluded in Bhurban on Friday. The work­shop, which began on Wednesday, was organised by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with the Election Commission of Paki­stan (ECP) for capacity building of media reporters on coverage of elections. An accrediting facilitator from Egypt Ossama Kamel, workshop facilitators Salma Hassan, and Qasim Janjua having affiliations with UNDP and workshop facilitator, Regional Elec­tion Commissioner, ECP, Quetta Naeem Ahmed deliv­ered lectures on electoral processes and new tech­nologies, especially the bridge (building resources in democracy, governance and elections) project.

On the first day, the trainers delivered keynote lectures on the role of media, freedom of media, types of media, the role of media in elections and the media code of conduct. On the second day, the reporters were imparted comprehensive training on wide-ranging topics including the election com­mission’s overall role, the election process, polling day activities, code of conduct for political parties, security personnel and media.

Day three discussed media coverage from in­ternational perspectives, media and gender, dam­ages of misinformation, disinformation and hate speech, the need to rein in online media and how to deal with rumours. Ossama Kamel, a master trainer from Egypt, explained the background of the bridge project, saying bridge was a modular professional development programme with a par­ticular focus on electoral processes. 

In December 1999, a group of prominent elector­al experts from around the world met in Canberra, Australia, to discuss the potential structure and content of a short capacity-building programme for electoral administrators. They were asked to reflect on everything which, with the benefit of hindsight, they wished they had known when starting work on their first election. The knowledge they identified formed the basis for what has become the bridge curriculum. Bridge represents a unique initiative where five leading organisations in the democracy and governance field have jointly committed to de­veloping, implementing and maintaining the most comprehensive curriculum and workshop package available, designed to be used as a tool within a broader capacity development framework.

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