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BRIDGE workshop: Preparing media to cover electoral processes in Libya

In preparation for potential electoral processes in Libya in 2018, a series of workshops targeting 24 Libyan media representatives were held in Tunis from 29 October to 1 November. The workshops, which were part of the Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) module, were customised to meet the needs of the media in Libya. They aimed to enhance the professionalism and capacity of media representatives in Libya in order to encourage fair and accurate coverage of electoral processes.

The workshops were jointly organised by the High National Election Commission of Libya (HNEC), International IDEA, and International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) Libya. Each day focused on a specific theme. Day 1 provided an overview of the election process.Day 2 outlined the HNEC structure, roles and responsibilities and its relationship with the media. While Day 3 explored the role of the mediathroughout the electoral cycle Day 4was scheduled to involve creation of a code of conduct for journalists.

In order to ensure the role of the election management body in Libya was well understood, three representatives from the HNEC attended the event. They presented their mandate and organogram, the HNEC media strategy, and the procedures for media accreditation.

The event was well-received by participants, who enjoyed the activities and looked forward to using their new knowledge. While one participantfrom the Media & Election module said that he was grateful to the organizers for such an opportunity and recognized the lack of awareness within the media regarding the election related concepts, terms and processes, another participant complimented the organisers on the information relayed and activities conducted.

The workshops were delivered by BRIDGE facilitators Shubub Najeeb, accrediting facilitator from Iraq; Emna Zghonda, International IDEA workshop facilitator from Tunisia; and Sabri F. Ali Senki, workshop facilitator from Libya. A trainer and a media resource person from IFES Libya also supported the event preparation and implementation.

International IDEA and IFES continually seek to promote a better understanding of the electoral cycle within the media. They also plan to continue building the relationship between the HNEC and media outlets in Libya, to further support credible reporting on electoral processes. To this end, and in preparation for the anticipated 2018 electoral processes, a series of similar workshops will be conducted over the coming months, targeting different media houses (including radio, print and television).