Freedom Forum has come up with a new initiative. It has launched an election-related website-www.nepalelectionchannel.org- on July 19, 2011.
The website built in collaboration with the INTERNEWS and co-partner Antenna Foundation Nepal is a common platform, connecting media, election experts, policy makers and advocates, opinion makers, academics, international community, other stakeholders and the general public.
The website works as a channel to compile the reports on media situation in the general election which are received from the journalists from across the country through phone, email, and SMS. The website also functions as an interactive social network where they can interact on the subject matter. In addition, it archives the matters related to election, election laws, journalists' code of conduct, election monitoring laws and related opinion of the experts and other references from the country and abroad.
Freedom Forum Chairman Taranath Dahal said, "The website has come as a common platform to all related to media and election and serves the needs of democracy as its monitors the press freedom violation during the election, disseminates alerts on these; and works for people's right to information on election by upholding journalists' professional capacity."
The site includes alerts on intimidation, violence or other threats to quality reporting of electoral and legislative issues. The web portal offers key documents and discussions and provides inputs into electoral and political issues, including Election Commission and Constituent Assembly (CA) considerations of media laws and protection issues.
A citizen journalist approach will be used for this.
Although there is no election in sight due to the prolonged transitional phase in Nepal, there are various activities being done regarding the election and electoral system. The Election Commission of Nepal has provided digital voters' identity card with photograph. This voters' enrollment campaign suffered in various parts of the country due to the obstruction by some political parties and ethnic based organizations. Such news reports and trends in electoral system are achieved in the website and updated regularly in both languages-English and Nepali. Both Nepali and English users of this site will be equally benefited.
Similarly, various links that of the government bodies, national and international organizations on election and media, newspapers and others have enriched the website, as they can be of tremendous use.
As a promising civil society organization working in the multidisciplinary areas of democracy, electoral reform, freedom of expression, right to information (RTI) and media rights in Nepal, Freedom Forum has been constantly involved in policy research, analysis, advocacy and campaign through a gamut of initiatives towards promoting civil liberties, empowering citizens and making the state authorities transparent and accountable to people.
As part of its goal, the organization will be monitoring the upcoming general election for media violations, human rights, civil liberty and violation against journalists.
INTERNEWS, established in 1982 in the USA is an international media development organization whose mission is to empower local media worldwide to give people the news and information they need, the ability to connect, and the means to make their voices heard.