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PESHAWAR: Experts at a training session on Sunday urged the mediapersons to sensitise the poll candidates to election laws and code of conduct and ensure transparency and impartiality of the public and private institutions in the general elections.

The three-day training session for journalists on civic education, election laws and role of political parties was held under the auspices of Individualland, a research-based consulting and advocacy firm in collaboration with Tabeer - Consolidating Democracy in Pakistan. Many journalists from both print and electronic media participated.

On the first day of the workshop, the participants were given tips on reporting on politics and political parties, monitoring the performance of political parties, while on second day they were given detailed lecture on the media’s role in efficient functioning of the Election Commission of Pakistan and key points of the Elections Act, 2017, and role of media to sensitise citizens to the election laws.

On the concluding day, experts on governance delivered speeches on civic education, good governance, role of local governments, concept of citizenship, accountability and identifying civic indicators.

Addressing the participants, Khurram Malik from Tabeer said that media should thoroughly delineate manifestos released by political parties to make the citizens well-aware about the roadmap that the party was going to follow if elected to power.

Shabir Ahmad, an election expert, was of the view that the new election act had a number of distinguishing features from the previous laws, however, it was the media’s responsibility to discuss these features in their elections related reporting.

Malik Masood from the Centre for Governance and Public Accountability, while conducting the session on civic education and good governance on the third day, said civic education and good governance were inter-related, therefore, the media needed to educate citizens to become civic-minded for better governance.

Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2018