The Daily Monitor, one of the major newspapers in Uganda has released election reporting guidelines for its reporters and editors and also committed itself to offer balanced coverage of the elections to the public.
According to a comment by the editors published in the Daily Monitor, November 4, “our news coverage and general management of political content shall seek to underscore our position as independent media that contributes to promoting and entrenching democratic culture through informed debate, intelligent and rigorous analysis as well as prudent review of predictable consequences of actions and policies.”
The release of the guidelines also coincides with the release by ACME, election reporting guidelines for Uganda journalists that were developed in partnership with various media houses including Daily Monitor.
The Monitor editors have emphasised that among other things, the paper, as it’s policy stipulates, will not endorse any political candidate or political organisations.
“Our coverage of the election will be informed by two major themes. The first is that we shall seek to inform rather than just report. We shall go beyond reporting the news and put facts and statements into context so that our readers can understand and make their own, informed decisions,” the editors say.
They add, “Our second theme shall be premised on balance. In all our reporting we shall try to offer a platform for all candidates and allow our readers to hear from all sides of the debate while enhancing our reputation as a platform for informed, interesting and diverse debate.”
“In covering political campaigns and the election itself, our role shall remain one of thought stimulation, explaining and informing in order to help voters make intelligent decisions on the basis of knowledge, and signal to the political leaders that the public is vigilant and will not be swayed by untruths and spin,” the guidelines say.