Media should be impartial in electoral campaigns

Media plays a crucial role around the globe. It generates public awareness, support freedom of speech and democracy. People are widely involved in news, reports, movies, etc. and imagining modern life without media seems horrible. Modern technologies have changed the world into “the global village” and people need to know about issues going on around the world. Nations communicate and exchange their views and cultures through the media. Access to the media and information is considered one of the citizens’ basic rights.
Meanwhile besides media which is considered the main pillars of a democratic system, holding of transparent elections is also key to institutionalize democracy and democratic processes in the country. Media and elections are somehow interconnected with each other which needs vast public support.
Media shouldn’t be used as a mean for interrupting the peaceful environment of a society as well as the democratic processes. The media should be used to further bolster democracy and encourage the citizens to participate in the process.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Sunday urged media organizations to follow journalistic principles, accuracy and impartiality while covering electoral campaigns and warned of disciplinary action in the occurrence of a violation.
IEC media committee’s head, Mohammad Rafi Rafiq Sidiqi, told a process conference here that media’s role in covering election campaigns in lead up to the Sept. 28 presidential election would have a great impact on directing public opinion and encouraging people to determine the country’s political fate.
Sediqi added media could play crucial role in encouraging people’s participation in the presidential election. He asked media outlets to pay attention to accuracy, balance of content, impartiality and respect for human dignity.
The strong influence of media in private and social life and in political, cultural, economic and social spheres is crystal clear. No one can downplay the role of media in a society and its impact in their daily life. Whether the role of media is constructive or destructive in a society, it is the readers to judge.
Afghanistan is one of the countries that have been dominated by instability and conflict. The role of media in Afghanistan has been felt to be very much vital, but unfortunately, it is having been developed only in the last decade. Today, it is claimed that Afghan media is independent, yet there are many issues that have to be dealt with to really make it free and independent in the true sense of the word. At the same time, the international media active in Afghanistan has also played a role that cannot be neglected at all.
Media keeps voters informed about the priorities and programs of different political parties and candidates. Unless the voters know which candidate stands where on which issue, they will not be able to exercise their electoral rights properly. On the other hand, media can also educate voters by providing them with a comparative analysis of relevant issues.
Free and fair exchange of ideas is crucial not only to the exercising of electoral rights but also to the very idea of democratic citizenship. Therefore, media needs to establish a fine balance between the interests of democratic citizens and the reality of consumer culture, making sure that they are not dependent to some certain candidates and groups and impartially deliver the required information to the citizens.

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