Jouranlists Prepare For 2009 Elections in Afghanistan

 

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its local partners, the Afghan Independent Journalists’ Association (AIJA) and the Committee to Protect Afghan Journalists (CPAJ), held a two-day training workshop on election and political coverage from March 2-3.


More than 30 experienced journalists from print, electronic and broadcast media were invited from Parwan, Kapisa and Panjsher provinces to the workshop in Charikar city, capital of Parwan province. The workshop was designed to boost journalists’ knowledge and skills in the practices and processes of democratic elections, and the role of the media in election campaign coverage.


The training included sessions on reporting and interpreting elections in Afghanistan's historical context; legal issues; electoral processes; transparency and public service journalism; analysis of political campaigning styles; and electoral systems across the world in comparison with Afghanistan.


As Afghanistan continues its transition to democratic rule, journalists face increasing challenges in accessing information and reporting freely and transparently without fear of retaliation from government and militant groups.


According to the IFJ Annual Report Deadly Stories, four Afghan media workers lost their lives while undertaking their professional duties in 2007.


“Journalists in Afghanistan have an important role to play in the country’s transition to democracy, particularly in providing the public with fair, balanced and transparent reporting during the lead-up to and coverage of national elections,” said IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park.


“Workshops of this kind that include journalists and media workers from all regions will boost the quality of journalism in Afghanistan and encourage greater respect for the profession.”


The IFJ welcomes the involvement in the workshop of the Governor and Deputy Governor of Parwan province and the Head of Information and Culture in Afghanistan as a positive step in increasing respect for journalists by local and government authorities.


The training is part of the IFJ's Media for Democracy program, supported by the European Commission (EC). The fourth and final workshop on election and political reporting to be conducted in the training series will be held in Jalalabad city, Nangahar province, in March.


For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919


The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries