The organization Fundamedios released a guide to election coverage for journalists and Ecuadorian media in anticipation of the Feb. 17 elections, reported the group. The 2013 election guide hopes to give reporters the tools to become "effective guarantors of participative democracy and become effective instruments of empowerment and vigilance for each citizen's right to elect their own representatives," according to the manual's introduction.
According to Fundamedios, the standards, principles and suggestions in the manual were compiled from similar documents produced around the world. However, the guide also includes a special section with basic information about the electoral process in Ecuador and the rules governing the conduct of the media during the process.
The coverage of elections in Ecuador generated controversy when the National Assembly approved some of President Rafael Correa's proposals to the Code of Democracy forbidding the media from publishing any information in favor or critical of candidates.
The National Journalists Union and other organizations decried the move as unconstitutional, reported the newspaper El Universo. After several extensions, on Oct. 17, 2012, the Constitutional Court ruled some of the Code's articles were unconstitutional and reaffirmed the decision last December, reported Fundamedios and the website Ecuador Inmediato.
In the up-coming February elections, Ecuadorians will elect their president and vice president, 137 members of the National Assembly and five representatives for the Andean Parliament, a customs union.
Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.