The workshop was conducted in Kyiv, Ukraine, on April 23-26, 2018 and hosted by the joint IFES-CEC Administrative Center for the Training of Election Process Participants. The workshop was facilitated by BRIDGE accrediting-level facilitator Natia Kashakashvili, workshop-level facilitator Tetyana Bibik and two Ttf-completed facilitators Alyona Sheshenia and Anastasiia Matvienko (later accredited as workshop level facilitators). Eighteen participants from the CEC, CSOs, Political Parties and local mass-media of Ukraine attended the workshop (out of which thirteen were male and five female).
The workshop main objectives were to encourage a professional and productive relationship between EMBs and the Media; to understand the role of the Media throughout the electoral cycle; to identify regulatory frameworks that can be applied to the Media and to explore strategies for improving EMB communication with the electoral stakeholders by working with the media.
The workshop engaged participants on various topics. All sessions were highly interactive and enabled the participants to discuss the various issues on the role of media throughout electoral cycle, the main freedoms of the media stemming from the international electoral obligations, networking and building mutual expectations between electoral stakeholders. One of the topics – regulating the use of social media during the elections – appeared to be discussed with the huge interest.
Participants throughout the workshop have expressed interest and actively engaged in all the activities. Participants have praised the workshop methodology and the professionalism of the facilitation team. They have shared some observations at the end of the workshop:
One of the Media group representatives has underlined the knowledge received especially on the topics of interest, such as regulating hate speech, that is being under discussion right now at the Journalist Union; Therefore, the media representative has expressed the willingness to nominate more journalists to participate in the Media and Elections BRIDGE workshop.
All the stakeholders have positively assessed holding the mixed group workshop; one of them said: “I have witnessed one of the main objectives of BRIDGE program - “bridging” between the stakeholders: Media with Political Parties, CEC and NGOs”.
Participants have appreciated the sessions where they had opportunity to accomplish the activities from the perspective of different stakeholders.
Representative of a Political Party has expressed the willingness to initiate the discussion on Codes of Conduct from the perspective of Direct Access regulation.
At the end, all the participants have received certificates in recognition of completion of 4-day Media and Elections workshop.