The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has stepped up its preparations for the 2014 tripartite elections by seeking to engage stringers (reporters) to cover the polls.
The stringers will be stationed at district councils and are expected to come up with professional, balanced, equitable and impartial stories on the elections, according to a vacancy announcement by the electoral body.
“The stringers are expected to provide reports and interviews to both the public and private media houses on all the electoral processes, write features for print media and produce programmes and documentaries for the broadcast media,” says MEC.
The reporters will also be expected to give media coverage to all contesting candidates and parties, provide to MEC monthly coverage report and give media support to the civic and voter education activities of the electoral body.
Before being deployed to their designated places, MEC intends to train the successful candidates on accurate, balanced reporting of political events, press conferences, election meetings, rallies and interviewing politicians on their policies and election manifestos.
Malawi parliament last year passed a tripartite elections bill that allows the country to hold presidential, parliamentary and local government elections in a single day.
Every time there is an election of any sort, MEC engages the services of stringers in an attempt to reach out to as many people as possible as they compliment the work of journalists in the mainstream media.
Over the last few weeks, the electoral body had been conducting public hearings across the country to hear views from the public on demarcation of wards for Councillors. The public hearings ended last week.