Parliamentary Journalism: An eye on governance

Women in governance in Côte d'Ivoire

June 2, 2014

The faint echo of parliamentary action in West Africa is a hindrance to the monitoring of elected persons and the conduct of their duties for the benefit of the people who have chosen them. The media coverage of parliamentary life is insufficient. This results in a low monitoring by citizens, the deficit of information about parliamentary processes, and a lack of consideration of key issues for citizens, etc.

The National Assembly automatically returns the image of an institution in the mixed use and the disinterest of parliamentary action in turn brings along obstacles to good governance.

Therefore the media have a role to play in ensuring that the institutions participating in the national governance with a deep sense of service to the people.

Contrary to popular belief, the Parliamentary information should not be limited to a regular report of the parliamentary calendar, but should conform to a logical event centred on standards consistent with professional standards (classification of the information in journalistic genres: reporting, report, investigation, interview, etc.). Contrary to this, the chosen editorial orientation by most of the media put the focus on situations of political adversity of parliamentary life.

In practice, little mention is made ??in the process of adopting laws, or the preparation of the national budget vote, and much less support is given to the concerns of women in the legislative process. How to improve women's lives if the journalists covering parliamentary sessions do not ensure to remind the elected of their role in solving these problems?

The Panos Institute West Africa (PIWA), in the framework of the implementation of the project entitled "Women and media partners for better governance in West Africa", funded by the European Union for three years, opened this Monday, June 2, 2014 in Abidjan, a training workshop on parliamentary journalism. Organized in partnership with the Union of radio stations of Cote d'Ivoire, this workshop has seen the participation of 10 journalists from mainstream media (printing press and radio), of radio stations based in Abidjan and two online media.

This training aims to promote a better understanding of the functioning of parliamentary institutions by journalists; a better understanding of methods and techniques for processing and production of information related to the activity of parliaments and create the conditions for a better access to parliamentary information to journalists in order to better monitor and report on the actions of national politicians.

This workshop will address in terms of contents the functioning of institutions of the National Assembly; how to monitor and inform on the management of governance issues by the parliament: in particular issues related to the inclusion of women's needs and demands of citizens. The issue of access to parliamentary information is what the journalist should focus on, and especially women related issues.

Contact: Libasse HANE.