EISA Niger: Support to Media Regulator

In April of 2021, the CSC, with the technical assistance of EISA, published the Practical Guide for the access of candidates and political parties to the public and private media during an election period

Main elements of support to the Superior Council of Communication (CSC; Conseil Supérior de la Communication) include:

  • Material equipment and technology of CSC for effective media monitoring, including social media monitoring.
  • Support to the regulation of the access of political parties and candidates to media.
  • Capacity building for the media on political pluralism and election coverage.
  • Support to CSC for an awareness campaign against electoral violence.
  • Post-elections review.
Media monitoring equipment enhanced

One of the key elements of EISA's support to the Conseil Superieur de la Communication (CSC, the media regulatory authority in Niger) is the reinforcement of its media monitoring capacity by providing them with equipment, technology and developing an operational methodology. EISA's communication and media expert and the EISA project's two consultants ie for media monitoring methodology and for equipment installation, assessed the institutional needs and the market for equipment, and formulated the technological specifications needed for an effective and modern electoral media monitoring process.

Alongside advising and procuring new equipment, an extensive database as well as training materials have been developed to equip the CSC with best practices in monitoring and regulation.

Regulation of political parties' access to media supported

As the access of political stakeholders to media is key for an inclusive and credible process, EISA supported the CSC's interaction with political stakeholders by proactively and transparently communicating the rules and provisions that will regulate the media coverage of the upcoming campaigns.

The support consisted of:

  • the compilation of a handbook entitled "Guide Pratique pour l'accès des candidats et partis politiques aux médias publics et privés en période électorale" which consist of the texts regulating access to public and private media and lays out general guidelines for how equitable media coverage should be during the electoral campaign and the post-election periods;
  • the printing and disseminated of 2000 copies of the handbook to political actors in Niamey and in the regions; and
  • facilitating explanatory workshops with political parties and candidates on the rules that will be applied regarding their access to public and private media during the campaigns.

These rules govern free and paid airtime coverage, broadcasting of candidate's messages etc. These workshops were held on 20 October in Niamey and 13-22 November in several regions countrywide such Diffa, Zinder and Maradi, where political parties are concentrated.

Media and election reporting skills training supported

The political context and the need for peaceful elections requires that the media be informed on the necessary rules and practices for professional and pluralist coverage. EISA supported the media regulator to strengthen its partnership with media groups.

EISA assisted in organising training sessions for 75 media practitioners in Niamey on 20 October 2020 and in three regions, namely Zinder, Diffa and Maradi from 13-22 November 2020. These sessions focused on political pluralism and respect for rules and ethics in journalism, particularly during elections, as well as of fact checking to ensure accurate and impartial election reporting.

To facilitate access to electoral information, EISA encouraged the involvement of CENI experts as trainers so that they could brief journalists on the ongoing electoral operations and build connections with key people within CENI with whom they could engage on election preparations and developments.