Local media workers yesterday met with officials from the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) to discuss and devise a code of conduct for journalist covering the upcoming national elections.
The purpose of the workshop was to give journalists an opportunity to have some input into the proposed code of conduct, strengthen links between the SIEC and the media, help SIEC and the media to understand each other’s needs and logistical constraints, and help journalists understand the electoral process and timelines.
“Also it is aimed at developing a Code of Conduct for journalists covering the National Elections.
“The workshop will give journalists a chance to have their say on the new Code of Conduct.
“It was also an opportunity to discuss how the SIEC Communications Team can work more closely with the media.
“The media play a vital role in elections and SIEC is pleased to be delivering this workshop in partnership with the Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI),” said Ben McNair a communication officer from the SIEC.
The aim of the Code of Conduct is to make sure journalists can get access to the information that they need.
“We want to work together with the media to make sure that everyone understands the next stages of registration and what they need to do right through to Election Day.
A ‘Code of Conduct for Media and Independent Election Observers’ was developed since 2010.
Yet, this is the first time that the media will have direct input into the process of developing the code.
After the workshop yesterday SIEC staff will bring together the journalist’s views and compile a draft Code of Conduct to be considered by the Commission.
Once it’s approved, further training will be conducted so that interested journalists can be officially accredited to have access to SIEC sites, press conferences and the latest information.
Meanwhile, President of the Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI) Leni Dalavera thanked the SIEC for the initiative.
“This will help our local journalist to understand the code of conduct and also give them understanding on how to report on the upcoming general election issues,” Dalavera said.
“We (media) will continue to work closely with SIEC,” he added.
The workshop was facilitated by three communication officers from SIEC.
By STEPHEN DIISANGO