The journalists are attending the training that is being facilitated by IOC expert and journalist, Jean-Luc Mootoosamy. (Seychelles News Agency)
Journalists from Seychelles are learning more about the functions of democratic institutions in the island nation that will help them in their coverage of related events in a one-week training being facilitated by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC).
Eight journalists are attending the training at L’Escale Resort Marina and Spa that is being facilitated by IOC expert and journalist, Jean-Luc Mootoosamy, who is also the director of Media Expertise.
Mootoosamy told reporters that the training is meant to improve the understanding of journalists about the functioning of democratic institutions and the journalistic coverage of their activities.
“It is key in a democracy, that the public gets proper information, that will help them to make proper decisions. To get proper information, you need to have professional journalists and I think that doing this work, of course, journalists are doing their best because sometimes they just come into newsrooms and they try their best to understand how it works but then it also good for them to sit down and reflect on the work they are doing,” he said.
Mootoosamy added that “it is also important for democratic institutions to know what journalists are doing, what are the constraints and what is needed by journalists.”
He said the training is also meant to facilitate the development of a working relationship between the media and democratic institutions to improve the quality of information to the public and will also recreate a link between journalists and the National Assembly.
|The training is meant to facilitate the working relationship between the media and democratic institutions. (Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
“I’m not saying that it doesn’t exist but maybe the quality of this link needs to be addressed. I’m sure some journalists don’t really know what is happening inside the National Assembly because they are pressed by time, they have to produce, they don’t really know what’s behind an Order Paper for example and they don’t really know what the Clerks’ office is doing. So it’s an occasion to know better what’s happening there and to better serve the public,” he explained.
He said the training has both theory and practice.
“We’ll talk about the history of the National Assembly as well as how MPs [members of parliament] are elected. What the Electoral Commission is doing and how it works with the public and with the National Assembly for elected members to start their work. For the practical part, we will talk about journalism ethics and how this will help journalists to better cover the National Assembly,” said Mootoosamy.
Representatives of the secretariat of the National Assembly gave presentations in the Monday sessions.
The Clerk to the National Assembly, Tania Isaac, emphasised the importance of such training for both the journalists and the National Assembly.
“The media is seen as the fourth pillar of democracy here in Seychelles, therefore, we must ensure that journalists receive correct and credible information and that they understand the role and functioning of the Parliament, the rules in place, the debates and jargon used,” said Isaac.
She said that in making sure that the journalists are aware of the correct information, this in turn will reach the public.
The participants in day training will also visit the premises of the National Assembly to gain more insight into their daily functioning.
The training of journalists on parliamentary and democratic institutions coverage is part of a series of training offered by the IOC to media professionals from its states through the IOC’s Governance, Peace, and Stability Project funded by the Agence Française de Développement.