On the threshold of the 2012 elections the Central Election Commission (CEC) plans to organize wide-scale trainings for journalists. The Center for Election Systems Development, Reforms and Training will be responsible for improving the education of media representatives in election issues. Director of the Center Natia Zaalishvili told media.ge that the handbook has already been developed and sent for approval to the European Council.
“Experts of the European Council have checked it. We know they have assessed it positively so we are now waiting for the official conclusion. After this we will be able to launch the trainings for journalists,” Natia Zaalishvili stressed.
According to her, trainings will allegedly start in July, or August and representatives of all types of media will participate in them. Attention will be paid to regional media, as their training is also considered in the Memorandum signed by the CEC and several unions of regional media.
During the trainings attention will be paid to information provision of elections; media rights and its obligations.
Media plays an important role in creating competitive political environment so in relation to elections we will cover many topics,” Natia Zaalishvili stressed and said that the topics included in the handbook have been selected by preliminary interviewing of journalists.
According to Natia Zaalishvili, it has not been decided yet what amount will be spent for training journalists.
“As soon as the handbook will be approved we will go continue to technical stage and the issue of funding will also be cleared. We will determine how many journalists will participate and what will be the duration of training courses. What I know for sure is that it will be quite large-scale trainings,” Zaalishvili clarified.
Center for Election Systems Development, Reforms and Training is a public law legal person and was created as result of 28 December 2009 amendments made to the Georgian Election Code. The Center reports to the Central Election Commission.
According to the law the functions of the Training Center are the promotion of election reforms, implementation of elections monitoring, development of advises and recommendations for perfecting election systems, training and increase of qualification of administration officials and all the interested via tight cooperation with international organizations.