MMU’s first report by next week


– Media support crucial to peaceful conduct of elections
THE Media Monitoring Unit (MMU) is expected to release its first report sometime next week, reflecting on its work during the month of September, according to GECOM’s Public Relations Officer Mr. Vishnu Persaud, who noted that the Commission is satisfied with the Unit’s work to date.
“The MMU is fully staffed, up and functional,” Persaud said.
He also contends that the support of the media, with its far-reaching influence, is crucial in helping to shape the manner in which information is disseminated and absorbed at the local and international levels.
“We have emphasized, time and time again, how critical media support is to the peaceful conduct of the elections…the media is a crucial element,” he posited.
GECOM has, in the past, invited all media organizations and operatives to revisit the spirit and intent of, and adhere to the Media Codes of Conduct for the 2001/2006 General and Regional Elections and the new and improved Media Code of Conduct developed and signed in 2010.
“All media houses signed on to the Code,” Persaud said.
GEOCOM’s Chairman Dr. Steve Surujbally contends that in doing so local media entities would be contributing towards the successful conduct of the upcoming elections.
Surujbally maintains that the success of the 2006 elections process was largely due to the success of the MMU, which ensured that “the media behaved themselves.”
He explained that having a code of conduct developed by the media houses themselves – a type of self- regulation – worked better than having legislations imposed.
The MMU was funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The Unit’s staff is employed on a contractual basis. The role of the unit was to monitor the output of media houses and address any breaches of the Media Code of Conduct. The MMU had revised the Media Code of Conduct and based its operations on the new document.
Any breach was noted and brought to the attention of the media house in an effort to promote responsible practices within the media corps – in line with the unit’s objective.