The Press Council of Timor-Leste and UNDP launched journalist guidelines for covering the Parliamentarian Election
November 22, 2022
Dili, 22/11/2022 –The Press Council of Timor-Leste and UNDP, with the financial support of the Government of Japan, handed over Election Reporting guidelines for journalists and media to support the coverage of the upcoming Parliamentarian Election.
Journalists from national media gathered on November 22nd to attend the launch of the publication National Guidelines for Journalists and Media on Election Reporting, a manual developed by the National Press Council under the UNDP COVID-Resilient Elections in Timor-Leste (CORE-TL) project to facilitate the electoral cycle coverage.
The guidelines are universal and comprehensive on electoral coverage for subsequence elections in Timor-Leste, in consultation with UNDP, journalists, Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs), political parties, and election observers, among others. It represents the ethical framework of electoral coverage on the relation among political parties, EMBs and public information, Dos and Don’ts during an election period, planning, and methodology of electoral coverage.
During the launch event, Ms. Adeline Carrier, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, remarked on the importance of journalists’ role to ensure that all citizens have access to the right and adequate information about future elections.
“Media is essential for a successful and peaceful election. To ensure voters can make informed decisions, they should have access to fair, right, and wide coverage information on political parties and candidates they are voting for. In such a case, these Electoral Reporting Guidelines ensure the journalists and media address the principles for responsible reporting about inclusive politics and elections.”, explained Ms. Carrier.
Likewise, Mr. Virgilio da Silva Guterres, a member of the Press Council, reiterated the significance of the guidelines as it regulates the journalism responsibility and ethical practices in electoral reporting that journalists and media must adhere to.
“The launching of the guidelines is opportune because in the next few months, we will have a legislative election. I do believe that the Timorese journalists’ news stories coverage on elections will be more comprehensive than the past elections. At least they should know well about the mechanism and cycle of the elections,” he explained.
Finally, Ms. Kazumi Yamada, Charge d'Affaires ad interim of the Embassy of Japan in Timor-Leste, highlighted these guidelines’ contribution to democracy building in the country.
“I would like to congratulate the National Press Council for successfully compiling these guidelines. As we know, free, fair, and open election based on correct information is the cornerstone of democracy. I would like to take this opportunity to remind the journalists and media of the importance of the role they play as the people of Timor-Leste vote in the upcoming parliamentary election and many more democratic elections to come,” explained Ms. Yamada.
The UNDP CORE-TL project, funded by the Government of Japan, promotes informative and inclusive elections in Timor-Leste at national and municipality levels.
For further details, please get in touch with the UNDP’s official in charge at:
Mariano Redondo – Communication Specialist, UNDP CORE-TL Project: 77566742
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