Afghanske medier enige om standarder for dækning af valget

Laurits Holdt

Resultatet at valget 14. juni ventes onsdag og der er frygt for at mediernes dækning kan sætte gang i uroligheder. Nu har flere end 50 afghanske medier skrevet under på en aftale om at rapportere objektivt og fair i forbindelse valget.

The presidential elections in Afghanistan in mid-June prompted hundreds of Afghans to protest against alleged fraud and tensions rose between ethnic groups.

In an effort to prevent Afghan media from fueling tensions further through impartial and inaccurate reporting, the IMS-founded Afghan Journalist Safety Committee last week succeeded in securing commitment from more than 50 Afghan media outlets to some overall guidelines on how to report professionally on the elections, reports IMS, International Media Support, on its website.

The signed resolution could be a major step towards reducing post-electoral tensions

The prospect of violence erupting and spreading following the presidential elections on 14 June remains imminent in Afghanistan with election results expected to be announced on 2 July.

Up to 13 people have so far lost their lives as a result of tensions related to the elections. Ethnic groups became increasingly hostile towards one another following the elections and some media were seen as having contributed to these tensions through impartial coverage and hate speeech.

The Afghan Journalist Safety Committee which worked to provide advice and practical assistance on safety to journalists during the elections through a mobile texting service, reacted promptly to address this by initiating a plan for a common media strategy.

Between 30 – 50 media outlets in Kabul and surrounding provinces met at three meetings to discuss how Afghan media could contribute towards a more constructive election discourse.

Signed commitment to report professionally

A resolution setting guidelines for how media should cover post-election events was thus drafted and intensely debated by the media managers and media experts for two days at meetings convened by the Afghan Journalist Safety Committee.  All stakeholders acknowledged that Afghanistan is at a a vulnerable  juncture of history and there is an abrupt need for media and media stakeholders to act responsibly.

The Afghan government, Election Commission, and representatives of both election candidates unanimously approved the resolution that was created by the media support organizations and media managers.

Read the Resolution below

“Resolution of Media Managers On Coverage of Events in the Wake of the Run Off Elections”

Afghanistan is currently going through a sensitive situation. At this juncture of time, the role of media has become more important than any other time. While media and journalists can contribute to peace and stability, they can also create crisis if they do not adhere to impartial and professional reporting.

Given the current situation, it is critical that journalists and media outlets keep away from any bias on the basis of race, ethnicity, political and sectarian inclinations and focus solely on the right of the public to information.

Serving public interest, as the ultimate goal of journalism as a profession, calls for utmost precision and wisdom on the part of media and journalists in covering post-election events, and requires them to base their work on de-escalation of tension and deliver a fair and unbiased picture of the events.

Taking the above realities and the overall situation of the country into consideration, we, the Afghan media and journalists commit ourselves to the following:

1. Individuals who fuel ethnic hatred should not be invited to roundtable debates. Meanwhile, the moderators of debates should moderate discussions with due professionalism observing impartiality and balance. Should the guest resort to hate speech; affronting, violent, discriminatory or provocative language or try to intensify ethnic divide, the moderator should prevent him/her from expressing such statements.

2. The flow of discussions should be pre-designed in a way to explore issues and constructively offer solutions while not serving as a platform for expression of negative and irritating thoughts.

3. Publishing/broadcasting rumors and baseless news about the run off elections should be strictly avoided.

4. Publishing/ broadcasting unofficial, unauthentic and unreliable figures on candidates’ votes should be strictly avoided.

5. Magnification of news and other contents about fraud in elections should be avoided unless supported by credible evidence.

6. Analysis or viewpoints should not be presented as facts in reports.

7. Media outlets and journalists should unveil any breach of transparency or fairness or any instances of fraud and violation throughout the electoral process.

8. Media and journalists should provide coverage for the legitimate demands and fundamental rights of the public as reflected in their civil moves.

9. Media and journalists may seek clarification from electoral or government officials on the current grievances and follow up with the same in order to find the facts.

About the Afghan Journalist Safety Committee

The Afghan Journalist Safety Committee is a  locally managed safety committee that has been established to assist journalists in danger and support families of victimised journalists.

The safety committee is the first of its kind established in Afghanistan with its inclusion of press unions, media representatives and civil society organisations.

The committee is in charge of a 24-hour hotline, a safety support emergency fund and advocacy work on safety in 32 out of 34 provinces.

Læs mere om Afghan Journalist Safety Committee.