The National Elections Commission or NEC with support from the American based International Foundation for Electoral Systems or IFES, has ended two days training for Liberian journalists covering the impending 2014 Special Senatorial Election.
The training which took in the port city of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County brought together editors, reporters and correspondents from Montserrado, Rivercess and Grand Bassa Counties, respectively.
The training under the supervision of the NEC’s public affairs director, Joey Kennedy, and the IFES Program Coordinator, Senesensee Freeman, urged media institutions to create an equal space for contenders in the race as well as avail their respective platforms to the electorate.
Mr. Freeman stressed that Liberian journalists have a greater role to play in making sure that the electoral process is peaceful, transparent, fair and free by offering balanced opportunities to all.
“You as journalists should create that equal opportunity to every contender to share their platform to electorate. We are aware of that aspect that deals with advertisements component which politicians have to pay for spots or spaces to air or publish their views, but at the same time, the portion of news reporting should balance,” he urged the participants.
According to him, unequal reporting could lead to serious problems that may have the propensity to drag the infant democracy to square one.
For his part, Director Kennedy said the role of the Liberian media is cardinal to the electoral commission and that NEC Chairman Jerome George Korkoya, has given it a serious attention to sharpen the skills of journalists, especially as the country is about to face another national task, the 2014 Special Senatorial Election.
Last month, the National Elections Commission, after a series of consultations nationwide, announced the holding of the 2014 Special Senatorial Elections and subsequently declaration campaign officially opened.