Nigeria 2019 Elections: Help Public Understand Political Reality – Journalists Tasked

Some of the participants at the workshop.


As the 2019 General Elections draw closer, Nigerian journalists have been advised to help the public understand the political reality, interpret events, analyze trends and opinion as part of their responsibilities.

A veteran Journalist and Managing Editor of AFRICA PRIME NEWS, Mr Joseph Edegbo gave the advice on Thursday at the 2019 annual Editors Workshop organized by the Africa MEDIA Development Foundation AMDF, held in Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria.

The workshop was organized to broaden knowledge of the participants, including senior reporters drawn from both print and electronic media as well as the Online on the principles that should guide them and the role they must play towards free, fair and peaceful elections.

Mr. Edegbo told the participants that it behooves on them to carry out their responsibilities with accuracy, objectivity, conciseness and comprehensive account of the elections.

“As gatekeepers, we must be conflict sensitive and commit to delivering thorough, verified and unbiased stories in order to have free, fair and peaceful elections.

“We must refrain from publishing stories that encourage divisions or antagonistic discussions which are likely to incite violence or jeopardize social cohesion” he cautioned.

The Managing Editor also stressed the need for the participants to exhibit responsible Journalism and down-play hate speeches that could lead to violence or threaten the country’s democracy.

Professional discretion in news reporting and casting of headlines, he said, must be exercised to avoid publishing news that could lead to or escalate violent conflict.

Mr. Edegbo reminded journalists, especially those in the broadcast media handling live programmes to brief interviewee or guest, prior to the commencement of the event on the need to avoid hateful comments.

And if made, the interviewee should be requested immediately to withdraw the hateful comment.

He also spoke of the need for them to use template language and avoid expressions that dehumanize parties, aspirants, candidates or other groups as well as displaying any insignia of candidates or parties in the course of their professional duties.

On Security and Safety of Journalists in Election Coverage, Chief Executive Officer, Africa Media Development Foundation, AMDF, Mr.Iliya Kure, tasked the participants to keep abreast with the political, religious or other conflicts in the area where they operate.

Mr. Iliya who listed a number of tips on safety, advised journalists to examine the location of polling stations in advance , know Exits from buildings and ways to leave areas of unrest as well as locations to hospital and Police station.

In the case of covering a major protests march or political rally, journalists should survey the route or venue beforehand.

Other Security Measures recommended, include wearing the Press Card as the case may be, comfortable and neutral clothing that is not associated with a political party or protesters, Making camera and other electronic equipment to look old during unrest situations so as to prevent them from being attractive to theft .

Mr. Kure noted that election coverage is often an intense and stressful job, hence the need for journalists to practice stress management and anxiety techniques such as meditation to assist reducing the effects.

Declaring the Workshop open, the Coordinator of the Africa Media Development Foundation, AMDF, Mrs. Sekyen Dadik, explained that this year’s program was tailored towards the election as part of the organization’s continued contributions to promoting journalistic practices and by extension the nation’s democracy.

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Posted by on 08/02/2019. Filed under Elections. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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