Hands-On Support for Libya Election Reporting

By the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, iwpr.net. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Libya Business News.

One of the IWPR team’s key strategies since starting work in Libya earlier in 2012 has been to provide practical support where it is most useful – in working newsrooms. We work directly with reporters and editors as they commission and produce stories for broadcast or publication.

This approach came to the fore in June and early July, when IWPR trainers offered advice and mentoring to newsroom staff working at a range of media outlets ahead of Libya’s historic election to the General National Congress, an assembly charged with appointing a government and overseeing the process of transition.

Through daily editorial meetings, story budgeting, hands-on reporting training, and lively critiques of stories after broadcast or publication, the aim was to achieve a rapid improvement in election coverage.

On election day, July 7, IWPR training staff were deployed at TV and radio stations in the eastern city of Benghazi, and at the former state news agency in the capital Tripoli.

With support readily on hand, local editors and journalists were able to raise standards, generating material that was more balanced, informative and relevant than before.

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