Fair coverage of the elections in Qatar

An honor charter for the media Workers in Qatar to cover the Upcoming elections Conclusion of the training Session of the media workers In Qatar

The work of the four-day training session on the "fair coverage of the elections," organized by the National Committee of Human Rights in cooperation with the Amman Center for Human Rights Studies [ACHRS] was concluded at the premises of the Committee in Doha, the capital city of Qatar.

A total of 40 male and female participants representing the various audio-visual and printed media in Qatar participated in the session. The aim of the session was to acquaint the participants with the concept of the fair coverage of elections. It also sought to acquaint them with the ways that should be followed in order to guarantee free elections. The session also sought to explain to them the ways and means of how this coverage could be merged with their media work.

The session covered a number of subjects and focuses pertaining to the international criteria of fair elections, the election systems and the criteria for formulating them. It also covered ways and means on how to evaluate the election platforms and the working media plan for covering the elections. Moreover, the session covered practical training on the writing of the fair election reports and evaluation reports, and the ethical responsibilities of the media.

At the conclusion of the session, the participants came out with a draft honor charter asserting their eagerness to guarantee fair and free elections that can reflect the views and aspirations of the voters. They noted that the honor charter should guarantee the freedom of opinion and expression, pluralism and non-discrimination.

The participants affirmed their compliance with all the provisions of the draft charter. They said that they will strive to make the media workers of Qatar comply with the charter.

The participants also asserted the need for educating the voters on their rights, informing them of the dates of the elections, and providing them with the necessary information on the candidates and their platforms in order to guarantee better opportunities for the most favorable choice and to seek accuracy, objectivity, fairness, and clear techniques in the media coverage, together with using clear and declared criteria and conditions for the political advertisements while drawing the line between the edited material and the political declarations.

According to the draft charter approved by the participants, the importance of the respect of the privacy of individuals was stressed. The draft charter also affirmed the need for refraining from assaulting this privacy by using swearing words or slander. It also asserted the need for refraining from arousing clannish prejudices or discrimination on the basis of sex, color or religion or instigating violence and disturbances. The draft charter also affirmed commitment, whenever public opinion polls are taken, to making a reference to the source of information, the funding party, the methodology used, and all the information pertaining to it.

The training was carried out by a team of trainers, including Dr Nizam Assaf and journalists Yahya Shuqayr and Majdi Hilmi in addition to the administrative team.   

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