LEGAL ASPECTS OF MEDIA COVERAGE OF 2012 PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS
In April 25-26 in Yerevan two days workshop on the legal aspects of media coverage of 2012 parliamentary elections was organised for the journalists by the “Protection of rights without borders” non-governmental organization.
The workshop intended to address the problems such as insufficient protection of journalist during the coverage of electoral processes and lack of ability for the protection of journalists’ rights. The journalists are being subjected to pressure by different individuals and bodies for prohibiting the publication of undesirable materials. Pressures are often coupled with threats.
The rights of journalists are particularly violated during elections when they perform their tasks. They are taken out from electoral commissions, or obstacles are created for electoral media coverage. During the last two years another form of pressure also is widely used` suits against journalists.
The above-mentioned problems have both objective and subjective aspects, such as the lack of journalists’ skills and knowledge. Journalists frequently appear in a vulnerable situation because of being unaware of the Electoral Code, their rights and guarantees of their legal protection. Therefore, some professional knowledge can help them in protecting their rights and interests from violations by the members of electoral commissions and other persons or might be useful in formulating their articles in a way not to leave a room for undue judicial claims.
The workshop covered the possible core problems of electoral process (electoral violations, criminal and administrative violations) and provided the information to develop the skills for writing literate and invincible article from legal perspective.
The workshop composed of two important aspects:
.The possible electoral violations
.Necessary skills and qualification to cover these problems.
In the end of the workshop the journalist highly appreciated the initiative and underlined the importance of such initiatives for journalists.