islamabad - Participants of a training workshop on Thursday said that the media should not only play the role of a critical watchdog during the upcoming general election of 2018 but should also inform citizens about the conduct of election, political parties and their manifestos.

They expressed this view during a three-day long training workshop on election laws, the role of political parties in articulating interests of their constituents and the role of the media/journalists as civic educators organized by individuals and the Government of Pakistan with the collaboration of TABEER - Consolidating Democracy in Pakistan. They said that the media is an important organ of the state and it should keep a close eye on every incident during the upcoming general election to be held on July 25th, to ensure transparent elections in the country.

The event also focused on the need of balanced and objective reporting while reporting events related to the upcoming election. The objecting and impractical reporting, on both print and electronic media, can help to avoid unnecessary adventure in politics.

During the workshop different training sessions were held regarding the reporting of politics and political parties, the media’s role in efficient functioning of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), developments in the Elections Act 2017 and the code of conduct issued by ECP for media coverage of the general election of 2018.

Media persons, from both print and electronic media organizations, attended the workshop.  

Election expert Shabbir Ahmed, Mazhar Laghari and Khurram Malik from the TABEER spoke on the occasion. Shabbir Ahmed, an expert on election matters, sensitized the journalists on the new Elections Act 2017. For the first time, domestic and international observations have been included in the law, he said. He also spoke at length about transparency and accountability during elections. He said that the ECP must share the rule it has made and get feedback. He said that the ECP needs to introduce the Results Transmission System (RTS) under which the provisional result must be shared by the returning officer with the ECP by 2:00am on July 26th.