In the lead up to the 2020 elections, the Seychelles Media Commission has assisted the Electoral Commission in the drafting a Code of Conduct to guide media practitioners, media houses, political parties and election observers during the election process. In the past, a guideline was used the guide the media’s election coverage, but recommendations from partners which includes the SMC and election observers, has now lead to the drafting of this new code of conduct.
The media has a pivotal role to play in ensuring that election coverage is legitimate. In its capacity as watchdog and educator it ensures that citizens receive fair, accurate, balanced and impartial reporting. It is charged with the responsibility to not only inform, but also to create platform for citizens to express themselves and to promote democratic values which include accountability and good governance.
Having a code in place, guarantees reliability of reported information by having the acceptable practices laid out in one document. The Code provide guidelines about circumstances that could interfere with, or appear to interfere with, the reliability of reported information during election coverage.
A code of conduct for election is an essential tool that helps all concerned parties to contribute towards a neutral, impartial election process. It can contribute to the fairness and freedom of the way election is administered. A code promotes consultation and discussion amongst the different stakeholders and guides their action.