CHIEF Electoral Officer Jane Waetara urges media to report with facts and responsibility in order to avoid mis-information and panic.
This comes as the media platform has expanded from traditional media to social media that ultimately changes the communication landscape.
Mrs Waetara said SIEC recognizes the important role that Media plays in contributing not only to people’s better understanding and the importance of the electoral process, but also enabling full public participation in elections to ensure that people’s voices are heard.
“Amongst others, some of the function of the Media within the electoral context is commonly referred to, as a watchdog, an educator for voters and candidates alike, an effective platform and space for public voices to be heard through transparent dialogue and debates, etc, etc,” she said.
However, she said at the same time, it is equally important not to forget that reporting accurately and with responsibility is of great essence as well, because misinformation has potential to create uneasiness or fear amongst people, and can lead to fear.
“More so, during the uncertain times we are going through now, and if I may make special reference to the fact, we now have a number of declared covid 19 cases in the country, your role becomes even more critical.
“In other words, information communicated through various means must be accurate and factual to enable people to make informed decisions on their responsibilities to vote during elections and at the same time, follow covid19 safety measures to keep safe,” she said.
Mrs Waetara said this is important as they approach the upcoming polling day on 18th November, next month, for voters in Central Honiara and North East Guadalcanal constituencies.
She stressed this during the two days’ workshop on Election Media Code of Conduct Briefing for the upcoming North East Guadalcanal and Central Honiara Constituencies by elections at Honiara Hotel yesterday.
The workshop ends today.
Photo Captioned: SIEC CEO Mrs Jane Waetara. Picture: UNDP