situations i as i the i line i between i debate i and i conflict i needs i to i

Situations i as i the i line i between i debate i and

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situations, i as i the i line i between i debate i and i conflict i needs i to i be i carefully i managed i by i professional i media, i which i is i not i always i present. i As i one i report i on i media i in i the i context i of i elections i and i political i violence i in i East i Africa i states: The i media i serve i as i a i forum i for i competing i political i actors i to i vie i for i power i and i to i offer i alternatives i to i the i national i project. i This i is i both i a i strength i and i weakness. It i is i a i strength i because i it i means i that i the i media, i and i the i press i in i particular, i can i be i a i valuable i space i for i reconciliation i and i dialogue i between i competing i political i perspectives. i When i perspectives i are i engaged i effectively i this i can i help i to i reduce i polarization, i and i further i define i and i consolidate i the i state‐ i and i nation‐building i agenda. But i the i media’s i ability i to i serve i as i a i forum i is i a i weakness i for i fragile i states i that i may i not i have i the i institutions i to i manage i this i kind i of i discussion. 5 i MEDIA i AS i PUBLIC i EDUCATOR Media’s i role i as i a i public i educator i is i in i essence i a i combination i of i media’s i three i other i roles i with i a i few i added i aspects. i i i For i example, i media i as i a i mechanism i for i transparency i ensures i voters i are i provided i information i necessary i to i fully i evaluate i the i conduct i of i officials i as i well i as i the i process i at i large. i i i Media i as i a i campaign i platform i ensures i the i public i is i educated i in i political i agenda’s i of i all i participating i parties i and i candidates i equally. i i Media i as i open i forum i for i debate i and i discussion i ensures i that i voters i can i educate i other i voters, i politicians, i and i officials. i i i 4 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”, Office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights 5 Nicole Stremlau and Monroe E. Price, Media, Ee lection s and Political Violence in Eastern Africa
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