Media houses make various recommendations to the ECB

Based on past experiences reporters, made numerous recommendations to the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB). The ECB is taking up the recommendations as part of a learning from experience report.

A reporter from said that duplication of paper work is an issue. He said that they have the media arbitrator monitoring the paper works (number of stories, content and balance but again after the election they need to file a separate report.

He said the other thing is in terms of uniformity, there were incidents where some RO’s do share the information with the reporters while there are some who are reluctant to provide the information.

He said during the time of result declaration, preference should be given equally to all media instead of just one.

The fourth recommendation made by the journalist was if ECB could extend their account verification of Facebook and Twitter to the main media stream like ones for the political parties.

He said this initiative could fight back against the fake news in social media during elections.

Another reporter shared that it sometimes become difficult for reporters to deal with media arbitrator since they do not come from media background.

He also said that, if they should have a streamlined strategy to declare results because different people come with different results which creates confusion among the people.

A reporter from BBS that in future, collaboration is needed to conduct a debate as they have faced many associated challenges in the past elections when it comes to debate.

Meanwhile, a reporter from a private paper shared that the ECB should support them with funding to send the reporters in the field, at least one reporter from each media house. “We are doing our best but still we lag behind because we cannot go to the ground due to budget constraints. Not being able to go to field itself is a challenge”, he added.

He said there are RO’s who are reluctant to share the information through phone because they do not want to trust everyone who calls them and say they are from media. He said, “So, to do better with the coverage, it would be grateful if ECB can support us with the funding in future.”

An official from ECB said that, they will take down all the recommendations from the media and that they will discuss. “They would implement the recommendations once the discussions are over,” the official added.

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