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A prime concern of media coverage of elections is the right of voters to full and accurate information, and their rights to participate in debates and dialogue on policy matters and with politicians.
A free and fair election is not only about the freedom to vote and the knowledge of how to cast a vote, but also about a participatory process where voters engage in public debate and have adequate information about parties, policies, candidates and the election process itself in order to make informed choices.Furthermore, the Electoral Management Body (EMB) has a need to communicate information to the electorate – and to a variety of other groups, including the political parties and candidates.The media themselves have a right to report freely and to scrutinize the whole electoral process.A brief History of Media and Elections is provided, as well as an in-depth look at the current international Media Landscape, including media ownership.
A chapter entitled Legal Framework for Media and Elections provides substantial discussion of the different models for a regulatory framework for the media in elections, ranging from an independent electoral commission to a specialized media regulator, such as a broadcasting commission or a voluntary media council or press complaints body.
Regulatory frameworks can help ensure high standards.