A dozen editors-in-chief from the capital of Madagascar, Antananarivo, gathered on 20 May in Antsirabe to participate in the second series of exchanges on professional capacities and ethics of the media within the framework of the electoral process in Madagascar.
The main objective of the workshop in Antsirabe is to strengthen professional and ethical capacities of journalists from both print and broadcast platforms. The event also provides an opportunity for reinforcing professional identity, values and goals of the journalistic profession through an ethical charter for the coverage of the electoral period. The charter has been developed by the International Organization of La Francophonie and Reporters without Borders in partnership with local Malagasy NGOs.
This second series of exchanges was triggered by editors-in-chief themselves who also intend to train other journalists. It follows the first series that was organized in five sessions for 105 journalists around the themes related to elections and journalism – such as rights, obligations, responsibility and ethics.
“Your commitment to the improvement of professional journalistic ethics, particularly during the electoral period, is important because it will facilitate the organization of elections in Madagascar, which is a way towards democracy, peace and sustainable development,” stated the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Madagascar, Ms Fatma Samoura, in her opening speech.
Mr Ndrina Mamy Ralaiariliva, Vice-President of CENI-T (Madagascar's Independent National Electoral Commission of the transition), invited the editors-in-chief participating in the workshop to respect their mission, particularly with regard to the Malagasy wisdom: “Speech is like cobweb – if you know how to deal with it, it can become a house, otherwise it becomes a trap.” He used other Malagasy sayings to illustrate the responsibility of editors during the electoral period, particularly with regard to promoting peaceful campaigning and voting.
During the three days of the workshop, participants are analysing the electoral process in Madagascar, and learning how to process information using a gender perspective and the indicators for media monitoring developed by the Projet d'Appui à la Crédibilité et à la Transparence des Elections (PACTE).
Working in close cooperation with UNESCO and others, UNDP will organize two other training workshops: from 24 to 26 May in Fianarantsoa - for journalists from the Southern Madagascar, and from 30 May to 1 June in Majunga - for journalists from Northern Madagascar.