2015: Journalists Told To Be Professional

As the government, politicians and electorate warm up for the forthcoming 2015 general elections, journalists have been urged to adhere strictly to the codes of ethics of the journalism profession, in order to ensure a successful election come next year. This was the emphasis at the two-day workshop on Professional, Conflict Sensitive, Public Interest and Gender Supportive Reporting of 2015 Elections, organized by the International Press Centre, IPC, in Kaduna on September 25.   In a communiqué signed by Lanre Arogundade, director, IPC, the resource persons at the workshop  observed that for journalists to play vital roles in the electoral process and the development of the nation’s democracy, there is need to ensure an unbiased coverage of the electoral process.

They mentioned inducement, lack of logistics, lack of enabling environment, interference by owners or managers, insecurity and behavior of politicians as some of the challenges journalists face while covering elections in Nigeria. They also emphasized the need for the media to play an influential role in promoting the active involvement and participation of women in the political process and gender issues in election reporting in 2015, while at the same time enlightening the voters.

The participants at the workshop also faulted the tendency of some media organizations to play up personality clashes and negative aspects of the private lives of female politicians while neglecting issues of concern to common people as well as the media not focusing on manifesto and fulfillment of electoral promises after the elections. The participants strongly recommended the need to balance gender-related issues in the industry as well as defending the press freedom and journalists’ rights.

The workshop which was held as part of the project titled, Media Capacity Building, Mentoring and Monitoring for Conflict-Sensitive, Public-Issue and ICT-Driven Reporting of 2015,was attended by 25 male and female broadcast and print journalists in northwestern Nigeria.

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