In Seychelles there is a creole saying which goes… “sourd lo ou” meaning, turn a deaf ear to someone. This past week has shown how the Electoral Commission of Seychelles is turning a deaf ear and completely ignoring, snubbing the Association of Media Practitioners Seychelles or AMPS. AMPS has written to the commission to raise certain issues journalists have concerning the reporting on the forthcoming elections.The issues have to do with how journalists will be accredited to cover elections and on what basis, as well as to have access for coverage and the topics, which can be covered. AMPS was especially concerned when the matter of discretion was included into the guidelines for reporting on elections and a whole list of instructions came with the guidelines. In essence, it is tantamount to telling media houses and journalists how to go about doing their job, and implicitly implying that they do not know how to do so.
The Commission completely ignored the letter and then went one step further-it invited the editors of certain media houses, not all, for a meeting on Tuesday this week to discuss issues which journalists may have. It is important to note here that by not inviting all practicing media houses, theCommission is side lining certain media practitioners and as such interfering with the freedom of the press to report on what is going on in the country! It is also going against the spirit of democracy, the upholding of which is part of its role!