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JED announces media monitoring programme as presidential election campaign officially launched

(JED/IFEX) – Kinshasa, 28 October 2011 – As part of its commitment to monitoring press freedom during the election period, on 27 October 2011, JED announced the launch of its media monitoring programme for the upcoming electoral campaign, which officially kicked off on 28 October.

In 2006, violent clashes between supporters of the two main presidential candidates were attributed - in some cases justifiably - to media outlets who inflamed tensions with their incendiary comments and incitement to hatred and violence. As a result, many journalists and media outlets also became victims of violence.

Though the election campaign officially began only on 28 October, media outlets and journalists have already been victims of acts of political intolerance that include threats, assaults, destruction or seizure of their equipment, and even bombings. The attacks have created a climate of fear and insecurity among media professionals.

As a response to this fear, and to the glaring political indifference to the plight of journalists, JED will monitor media coverage in an attempt to avert an escalation in tensions and to ensure the safety of journalists and media workers.

JED has assembled a team of observers who will focus their attention on political discourse analysis, fairness in media access to the 11 presidential candidates, fairness in media outlets' coverage of candidates' platforms and general adherence to rules of professional conduct and journalistic ethics, among other issues.

Several print and broadcast media outlets will be monitored by JED over the 30-day election campaign; the results will be published in the form of weekly press releases.

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