ENUGU: (Odomero Igbodo) Ahead of the 2019 General elections in Nigeria, the International Press Centre (IPC) has organised a two-day workshop for journalists drawn from states in the South-South and South-east regions of the country on best Practices and Professional Reporting of the Electoral process.
The training held in Enugu attracted over 40 journalists from print, broadcast and online media organisations.
In a message to the event, the Director, International Press Centre, Lanre Arogundade, said there is urgent need to strengthen the role of the media in facilitating a credible electoral process.
Arogundade disclosed that the event was organised to examine the relationship between the public, the media and elections.
“The aim of the meeting also is to bring to the front burners the prerequisite to hone the skills of journalists in the professional and ethical reportage of democratic processes and elections as well as commit to professional, conflict sensitive, citizen focused, gender focused and digital reporting of the 2019 elections”. He said.
He underscored the importance of the media to supporting the integrity and credibility of elections by ensuring that citizens are adequately mobilized and also allow the entire process opened to public scrutiny.
The IPC Director expressed the hope that the media will follow the “global trends in the use media as a political communication tool, create equal opportunities for Nigerian politicians and political parties to tap into the opportunities offered by media to reach and engage their constituents and voters, and use Media tools to improve the efficiency of election observation” during the 2019 general elections.
While commending the European Union for the EU Support for Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) project, charged participant to always imbibe principles of fairness, diversity and objectivity in reporting the electoral process.
The two-day workshop featured paper presentations from renowned resource persons including; Professor Chinyere Okunna, who spoke on “best practices and professional reporting of the electoral practice” and “conflict sensitivity and avoiding hate speech as major imperatives in reporting, ahead of 2019”, as well as Funke –Treasure Durodola “Reporting Post Elections: Paying Attention to Democratic Accountability”, and Jide Ojo with a presentation on “Integrating socio-economic and human index development data into political reporting ahead 2019 elections”