Training of Journalists (Angola)
Angola, a country that only recently emerged from 30 years of a devastating civil war, is in the midst of reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts. The government is developing and introducing positive reforms in the political and economic spheres.Politicians and civil society organisations members are pressing the government to open its activities until it holds in 2007 Angola's second election since 1992. Central to this effort is the development of vibrant and free media capable of fairly and objectively examining the issues of the day and informing the public so that the latter is empowered to make informed and intelligent decisions on those issues. The Angolan media is seriously hampered by the lack of professionalism, inexperience and serious resource limitations to carry out this responsibility. The Syndicate of Angolan Journalists (SAJ), an independent and legally registered national association of journalists striving to advance the profession and the professional needs of its members, is committed to overcoming these challenges. Recognising the need for professional development and in anticipation of the upcoming elections, the SAJ previously organised training programmes for 60 journalists from three provinces on basic journalism and election-related issues. However, much more needs to be done to train journalists in the remaining 15 provinces of the country. This project aims at training journalists and their media outlets on how to properly cover the electoral process, how to conduct and use polling and how to give an accurate analysis of what is happening in the field. The upcoming election will be a long-awaited expression of the ongoing reconciliation of Angola. Without a well-trained cadre of local journalists, the overall process will suffer from a lack of fair and accurate information. Skills gained from this training will help journalists to redirect or reshape the way they read local social, economic and political situation. Ultimately, participants will be able to cover or report more concisely and objectively to help build a more democratic and open society. These types of training opportunities are critical to ensure that Angola citizens are adequately prepared by the media to return to the polls.