Garowe, October 29: The Media Association of Puntland (MAP) in partnership with the International Media Support has held a 1-day forum to further the strategic cooperation between the Puntland electoral commission and the mainstream media.
The event was held at the PDRC facility on October 28th, 2023 with attendance from officials of Puntland electoral commission (PEC) including the deputy chairperson Ahmed M Omar (KK), directors of the awareness, trainings, planning, and electoral operation department, media executives, reporters and the MAP secretariat.
‘’We believe both PEC and the mainstream media play an important role to the public, and it is undoubtedly true that both parties have common area that if well-coordinated could benefit the public, we aim to utilize this forum to look at what worked well in the recent municipality elections and what needs to be improved’’, said Mohamed Dahir – Chairperson MAP
PEC highlighted to event attendees their voter outreach strategies for 2023, as well as their collaboration plan for engaging the public and other electoral stakeholders.
Gaps linked to inadequate coordination among essential communication stakeholders and limitations of funds were among the previous experience noted and major concerns to be addressed. Both PEC and the Puntland media committed to work together more closely in the future.
Among the conference’s conclusion were the following recommendations:
– Create mechanisms to combat misinformation;
– Emphasize innovative activities to increase digital awareness;
– Create platforms for public interaction forums that educate the public and foster civil political discussions;
– Continue to build the ability of local media practitioners in understanding the electoral process and in sustaining ethical standards while adhering to the election reporting code of conduct;
– And most important to revise the existing Puntland media Code of conduct and ensure it levels to the media coverage of the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections.
Boosting public trust in the electoral process, discouraging electoral malpractice, exposing irregularities, and giving citizens crucial information on the integrity of elections, MAP seeks to guarantee that the media plays the anticipated vital role during elections.