Journalists from over 20 mass media outlets of the Republic of Moldova, including local ones, are getting prepared to cover the general local elections and partial parliamentary elections of October 2019. During the period of 23-25 August, they participated in the “Weekend Training: Media & Elections”, organised by the Central Electoral Commission and the United Nations Development Programme.
For three days, the journalists learnt about the electoral processes and topics that generate most discussions in the society: political party funding and election campaigns, voter lists and the State Automated Information System “Elections”. At the same time, the participants got acquainted with the system of electoral management institutions and the webpage of CEC, where they can find information of public interest.
The journalist from Radio Free Europe, Valentina Ursu spoke to them about the ethics of communication for journalists during the elections. They learned how fake news affect the electoral process from Petru Macovei, Executive Director of the Association of Independent Press. A political communication expert, Carmen Musat who came from Romania, talked about press manipulation tactics and techniques used by the politicians in election campaigns. Former chairperson of the Central Election Commission of Latvia, Arnis Cimdars, talked about the experience of the institution he led in communicating with the mass media.
“I knew very little about electoral processes because I only started writing news in this field during the February Parliamentary elections. The training experience will be very useful to me for the next elections because now I feel more informed. I learnt that there are steps to be taken before and after the elections day,” said Constantin Topala, reporter of Diez.
Patricia Podoleanu, reporter and presenter at PRO TV Chisinau, mentioned as well: “I clarified some legal aspects that were simply unclear to me. During the training we managed to establish some contacts with the team and members of the CEC. After I met them in a different setting, it will be easier when trying to contact them for questions or for comments.”
The Chairperson of CEC, Dorin Cimil declared: “The electoral period is busy and difficult for the entire society, including for the Central Electoral Commission. There is too much information that has to be processed, analysed and conveyed to the public. For this reason, and because we wanted to meet the representatives of the fourth power in the country in person, we organised this training. We wish the entire society is informed correctly about the elections”.
Andrea Cuzyova, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Moldova, said: “The journalists ensure the link between public institutions and the society. The quality of information that people receive helps them to take an active role in the life of the society and in the development of the country, in line with the Global Development Agenda 2030, which implies also that the political process shall be inclusive and participatory.”
The “Weekend Training: Media & Elections” was organised by the Central Electoral Commission, Centre for Continuous Electoral Training within the framework of the Project ”Enhancing democracy in Moldova through inclusive and transparent elections”, implemented by UNDP Moldova and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), British Embassy in Chisinau through the Good Governance Fund and Embassy of the Netherlands through Matra Programme.
Contact for mass-media: Eva Bounegru, Project Manager, UNDP Moldova, tel. 068176611, firstname.lastname@example.org