PNUD: Media Coverage of Upcoming Tunisian Elections

MONASTIR- The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) hosted a two-day training session which occurred on September the 6th– 7th , 2014, at Helya Beach & Spa. This session- dedicated to journalists- is concerned with the media coverage of the upcoming Tunisian elections.

The event was led by Dr. Hamida Elbour, a university teacher and media expert, along with Ms. Rabab Baldou, a specialist on women political participation. It was attended by a number of influential Tunisian reporters and journalists who represented a variety of public and private radio stations, TV channels, community radios and electronic newspapers.

The aim of the training session was to set a guide to be followed by media personalities in order for them to give birth for a gender-neutral media representation of electorate candidates.

UNDP is the global development network of the United Nations, which functions under the themes of: Democratic governance, poverty reduction, crisis prevention and recovery, environment and energy, HIV/AIDS, hub for innovative partnerships, and so on.

Training Manual for Media Personalities

The training manual tackles the most important points that will lead to the fair press coverage of the upcoming Tunisian elections from a gender perspective. It contains 6 chapters: An introduction to the concept of women political participation, Media, women and the gender approach in the electoral process, the integration of a gender approach in the electoral process, equity on the basis of gender in the coverage of elections, mechanisms of change towards the equitable coverage of women during elections, and practical training on the fair coverage from a gender perspective.

Journalists are required to stick to a list of professional standards: Accuracy, neutrality, responsibility toward news sources, topics and society, equity and accountability. They are also urged to choose bias over picking some of the events or statements or even photographs that highlight a particular candidate in a positive situation and omit the negative aspects, and vice versa.

“Usually, we talk about fairness in the amount of the media coverage when you give men and women equal opportunities in access to the media. And in terms of quantity, the principle of equity includes equal opportunities in the distribution of materials in the written, audiovisual and electronic press. By this we mean that newspapers should not focus prolly on male sources and publish them on prominent sites with lengthy press discourses, while women are only mentioned in small-size articles at the bottom of the pages.”

The Training Manual for Media Personalities (August, 2014)

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