Elections in Mali: ORTM getting ready

Regulation & Policy

CFI is creating an advisory project for the Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision du Mali (ORTM) (Bureau of radio and television broadcasting) with the objective of supporting a public Malian group to cover election nights and the debates between the rounds for the presidential elections via three types of media; television, radio and social networks.

The French agency for media cooperation has mobilized three experts:

- Jean-Baptiste Predali, a political journalist who directed the political section of France 2, the editing of The Parliament Channel, and the program ‘Ce soir ou jamais’. Jean-Baptiste Predali is very familiar with the issues related to coordinating regional news as he worked in this area on France 3. He is also a novelist.
-Christophe Coutens, a producer specializing in election nights. He has done election nights for CFI in Ghana, the DRC and Bhutan. Christophe Coutens has also worked for radio.
- Cédric Kalonji, winner of the BOB prize in 2007 for the best French speaking blogger, an alumnus of the school for journalism in Lille, specialist in African radio and websites. He will be working on the website created by ORTM for the elections.

From the 29th. of June to 13th July 2013 these three experts will work with about forty people from ORTM: journalists from the capital and from the regions, producers, technicians and online journalists. They will especially help them in the preparation of the two election nights (organizing the format, broadcasting the tallies, images of the diaspora in France…) and on the debate between the two rounds ( type of debate, subjects for discussion…)
The training session will end two weeks before the first round of the election (scheduled for the 28th July) with a rehearsal of the election night.

‘Mali has a very long standing democratic tradition and ORTM was the first television channel in French speaking Africa to organize a debate between the two rounds in 1992. 21 years later, this presidential election is a challenge for us in the post-conflict context as some of the regional infrastructure of the group was damaged and we have had little time to prepare. The support from CFI is key for us to help us organize ourselves efficiently and make better use of everything at our disposal’.