– Facilitated through Collaboration of GPA, AmCham (Guyana) & GECOM
THE Guyana Press Association (GPA), the American Chamber of Commerce in Guyana (AmCham Guyana) and the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) will be teaming up to facilitate the training of media operatives ahead of the March 2020 General and Regional Elections.
President of the GPA, Nazima Raghubir, told the Guyana Chronicle on Thursday that a grant has been provided for the training, by the United States Embassy through AmCham.
The training will take place in late January and the association met with the commission yesterday where it was discussed that GPA will put together the list of experts to conduct the training; AmCham will support with project management and GECOM will provide technical support.
“We will be partially providing technical assistance in terms of specific content as it relates to elections law, how seats are calculated, what is the protocol we would use for the dissemination of results and so on. It’s a collaborative approach where we would provide presentations on specific thematic areas,” GECOM Public Relations Officer (PRO), Yolanda Ward stated.
Meanwhile, GECOM will collaborate with the GPA for a Luncheon Lecture on January 7, 2020 which will prepare journalists for reporting on Nominations Day set for January 10. A presentation will come from Ward.
Added to this, GECOM has confirmed that it will be reviewing the 2015 Media Code of Conduct to determine whether any updates will be necessary to cater for the 2020 elections.
Explaining the purpose of the Media Code of Conduct (MCC), Raghubir said: “The Code actually speaks to how you report. Whether or not we provide balance; we have to ensure that our reports do not incite violence; that our reports are accurate. That’s generally what the code is. It’s our commitment to provide balanced and accurate coverage.”
While a timeline has not been set, it is hoped that it will be completed in time for the general election training planned for late January.
The GPA said that while signing on to the code is a voluntary exercise, all media entities are encouraged to do so when the time comes.
“Once you’re a legitimate media house…it is very important if we are going to commit to providing credible information to the public. We have our duties and if we’re serious about it, signing the code is very important.”
The media can significantly influence information and the atmosphere of the coming elections and therefore an MCC was established in 2001— and recently revised in 2015 — as the standard of media performance expected, especially during the election period.

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