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Role of Media in Election Process

Feature: Role of Media in Election Process

In the modern world, media is a mean of conveying the messages of political groups and organizations to citizens. And using media, political parties and groups seek to increase their influence in public opinion by expanding their reach. This reach out is particularly increased at election time.
Today, the role of the media in elections is clearer than ever. It, as engineers of public opinion, are tools through which people can gain the necessary awareness. These tools can also play an informational and monitoring role during election time.
The media can promote rule-of-law in society because the principles of elections are dependent on abidance of law, and it has an important role to play in institutionalizing it.
The role of the media in informing before, during and after an election is crucial, and it makes for a healthy political process. It ensures that the process of conducting elections is timely, appropriate, accurate and transparent; and it enhances trust and confidence among the people.
Elections are a peaceful mechanism for the transfer of political power in a democratic system. But the nature of power and consequently its takeover has always been risky and challenging. In this respect, elections are also vulnerable and fragile. Therefore, the health of the elections is a serious concern for citizens and democratic systems, as candidates for power and authority and their supporters try to gain power in every way possible. Therefore fraud, abuse, intimidation, deceit, forgery, negative publicity, interference in the electoral process, unhealthy campaigns are issues that are very likely to occur in the electoral process. The issues mentioned can divert the election from its main course and damage its health. Therefore, mechanisms must be designed to ensure the health of elections in the electoral law so that the election results reflect the true wishes of the voters.
Monitoring is the most important mechanism for securing the election. Without monitoring the electoral process, it cannot be trusted. The media should monitor the process more transparently for better results. The media plays a major role in shaping the reality of the electoral process. The presence of domestic and foreign reporters at polling stations aimed at balanced coverage of the news can confirm the transparency of the election process.
In addition to influencing public opinion, the media can monitor the performance of election commissions and officials, forcing election commissions to respond to public questions, ensure transparency, and reduce corruption.
In Afghanistan as well the role of media is paramount as it is struggling to stand on its own as far as its democratic system is concerned. Afghan media, though young, has been able to perform its role as much as possible. Facing insecurity, ban on freedom of expression and inattention of the government institutions, Afghan media has been able to create its resilient outlook. However, much work is required to be done.
It is the responsibility of media institutions in Afghanistan to function as a watchdog for the interests of the people and the political system, and spread awareness, analysis and interpretation of political and social events, transparency and inquiry. Afghan media, with its oversight, can guarantee transparency in the performance of many government agencies, especially election commissions, and can hold government officials accountable to public.
Counting and announcing the results is one of the most sensitive and exciting stages of the election. At this point, audio and video media report the progress of the vote counting from moment to moment and play the most important role in informing about the votes.
Media, especially radio and television, play an important role in the conduct of elections. The media, as leaders of public opinion, has a prominent role in public awareness and can at any stage fulfill its mission of raising public awareness of the election whether it is prior to the election, during the election campaign, the day before the election, the day of the vote, and the day the results are counted.
Regarding discussion of election fraud, violation, problems and challenges, media can have a leading role. Presence of media is paramount in the process until the final results are monitored. However, it is vital that during the process, media must remain unbiased and perform its role for the betterment of the democratic system and the people of the country.
(Sahar News)

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