Lanre Arogundade, Director, International Press Centre, IPC has urged Journalists to work with local security operatives to ensure maximum security protection while covering the elections on Saturday.
Arogundade gave the advice while giving his remarks at a media stakeholders’ roundtable on monitoring of print and online newspaper’s reporting of the 2019 electoral process.
Arogundade who admonished journalists to wear necessary accreditation tags during the elections also stressed the need for them to abide by the electoral act, NBC code if applicable and ultimately ensure ethical conduct.
The IPC director said the monitoring of the 12 print and online newspapers was essential because of the need to monitor what extent the media captures public interest in their reports. He explained the reasons for the quarterly monitoring of the newspapers, noting that, “Monitoring of print and online newspapers between creates a tool for engagement and a tool for capacity building for journalists. Media contents monitoring are very important and part of our responsibilities as media support group”.
The reviewer, Richard Akinola, Executive Director, Centre for Free Speech, Lagos said the reports revealed high concentration on ‘big political parties’, low coverage of female candidates and commercialization of the news which has deprived many candidates the opportunity to utilize various news platforms.
On his part, Chairman Nigerian Union of Journalists, Lagos State Chapter, Dr. Quasim Akinreti urged journalists to be objective and non-partisan in their reporting. He added that “We want our journalists to make us proud and abide by international best practices. Don’t be partisan and be extremely responsible as you go out to cover elections.” Akinreti commended IPC and the European Union Support for Democratic Governance in Nigeria for working in the interests of journalists.
Mrs Elizabeth Egharevba, Director International Cooperation, Ministry of Budget and National Planning who was represented by Nwaeze Afam, Project Officer, EU-SDGN said the review would help journalists in their duties as they go to cover the elections on Saturday. He added that, “this is not about 2019 elections alone, we believe it would strengthen the media to provide fair and ethical coverage to elections.”