Towards promoting ethical and inclusive media coverage of the electoral process ahead of the upcoming 2023 general election, the Institute of Media and Society, IMS, has convened the Media and Inclusion Conference 2022.
The conference, themed, “Amplifying the Voices of Underrepresented Groups in the Electoral Process”, which had in attendance media professionals, disability inclusion experts, gender and youths advocates across Nigeria, sensitized media professionals on the need to be deliberate about the inclusion of marginalized persons in their coverage of the electoral process.
Dr. Akin Akingbulu, the Executive Director of IMS said the organization, through the support of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN), wants to empower the media to promote inclusive, fair and ethical coverage of the electoral process and combat hate speech.
While highlighting different guidelines to support the media in its coverage of the election process which IMS has produced, Dr. Akingbulu mentioned that IMS seeks to “enhance the participation of women, youth and other marginalized groups in the political process.
On his part, Timothy Bamidele, IMS Program Manager, said the EUSDGN project which is being implemented in collaboration with the International Press Centre (IPC), with the overall goal of “support the consolidation of democracy in Nigeria with the media (print, broadcast and online media) helping to facilitate the key ingredient of credible elections through engagement and professionalism in coverage and reportage of the electoral processes.”
Speaking separately, Mrs Mufuliat Fijabi, the Executive Director of Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NTWF), Mr Jake Epelle, the Executive Director of The Albino Foundation (TAF), and Mr David Anyaele, the Executive Director of Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, charged the media on the need to bridge the gaps in its coverage of women, youths and persons with disabilities in the electoral process.
They all admonished the media to also focus on pre-election issues and also focus on how different sectors of the society affect marginalized persons.