Journalists wrap up media training ahead of elections | 01 September 2020
Journalists from various media houses took part in the final day of the election training workshop organised by the Seychelles Media Commission in collaboration with the US embassy.
Linda Bryant, the facilitator of the training, noted that the media plays an important role in politics in countries with free press. Voters need information to make educated decisions, and it is the journalists’ job to give it to them.
The first way journalists get involved in elections is by choosing which candidates to cover and how much. Those choices alone can have a huge effect on voter perceptions.
Another point that was touched during the training was the use of social media during the election. Social media has emerged as a political intermediary used to assert influence and achieve political goals. During the sessions journalists learned about ways to use social media platforms to not only keep up with the presidential hopefuls but also to fact check what they are saying as well as to get the information to their readers as fast as possible.
From Seychelles to Washington trust in politicians has rarely felt lower. In most countries, politicians, like people in many other professions, tend to offer a mixture of correct and incorrect statements when they speak. Ms Bryant noted that it is important for journalists to investigate whether the assumptions made by politicians are fact or fiction.
Bryant also noted that in the approaching weeks to election media houses should focus more about stories which relate to the elections and the candidates. She noted that it is important to involve citizens in the discussion so that they can voice their concerns.
She added that media houses should use different methods while reporting on the election such as surveys, debates, candidate profiles and round table where people from all walks of life can discuss their views on the presidential candidates.