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Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Media wants politicians to sign code of conduct

The two-day forum on ‘Media Ethics – Coverage of Elections Issues' for media practitioners, held at the Georgetown Club, concluded yesterday with participants drafting a communiqué intended to promote discussion during election period.

Some of the items in the communiqué were the need for a political code of conduct and for politicians to sign on to it; proposed broadcast legislation must be placed on the parliamentary agenda; the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) should be readily accessible to the media; adherence to the media code of conduct; continuous training for editors and owners; the need for political leaders to abide by the political code of conduct; and the need for further consultation on the broadcast legislation.

Issues covered during the two days included elections, constitutional laws and practices; coverage of crime and court stories; elections laws and practices in the treatment of racial issues; the coverage of press briefing/press conference and the coverage of political rallies.

The resource persons included Senior Lecturer in Law and Deputy Dean, Faculty of Law, University of the West Indies Dr Jeff Cumberbatch; Lecturer, School of Journalism , University of Guyana Ms Karen Davis; Commonwealth Media Advisor to GECOM Mr Tim Neale; and Head of the Centre for Communications Studies at UG Ms Wanda Chesney.

The forum was sponsored by the University of Guyana 's Centre for Communication Studies in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development and the Guyana Democratic Consolidation and Conflict Resolution (CDCCR) Project.

Delivering the closing remarks, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana Mr. Al Creighton said that such a workshop was one way that the university could increase its financial resources.

According to him, the institution has been training graduates in several sectors, including the judiciary, the Public Service, the media, the medical profession, education, among others.

Kaieteur News