Expert Roundtable on Media and Elections in Ukraine
A robust and analytical media is necessary for voters to make informed choices at the polls. This requires substantive coverage of candidates and platforms, but also in-depth presentation of the impact and meaning of an electoral system. Additionally, election management bodies (EMBs) need to know how to interpose their activities through the media in a way that increases public confidence in the electoral process and its transparency.
Nevertheless, the proliferation of new media, including social media, has presented important challenges for new and old democracies alike. Among the questions raised are the reliability of news sources, how citizens can be assured that the information that they are consuming is real news and not “fake news,” and how to develop the ability to better navigate the new information space in a way that is not detrimental to electoral democracy.
International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) experts participated in a roundtable discussion, focusing on analyzing the importance and commitments of media during the electoral process, how EMBs can deal with multiple news sources, how this should be dealt with by EMBs to maintain transparency and confidence, how EMBs should address the challenges of social media without over-regulating, and an overview of the likely pitfalls and challenges that may emerge in the coming months and years in electoral terms.
IFES Senior Global Electoral Adviser and Ukraine Country Director Peter Erben provided opening and closing remarks and presented on a panel discussing “How EMBs can deal with multiple news sources?” IFES Europe and Eurasia Regional Director Dr. Beata Martin-Rozumilowicz presented on the role of media in electoral processes.