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Ondo 2020: IPC, IMS, Experts warn media orgs on election conflict

Sep 24, 2020

By: Ade Adeleke

In their quest to ensure journalists cover the forthcoming October 10 governorship election in Ondo state professionally, the Institute for Media and Society (IMS) and the International Press Centre (IPC) have held a roundtable on Professional, Inclusive and Conflict Sensitive Reporting of the State Governorship Election.

This is also part of the two organization’s visions of building the capacity of journalists across Nigeria to enhance professionalism in reporting sensitive events.

The participants which included News Reporters, Editors, Publishers, leaders of Media unions, were drawn from broadcast, print, and online media organisations in the State.

Pix: participants & Dr Akingbulu.

The one day Media Stakeholders’ Roundtable, held at the Royal Bird Tower Alagbaka Akure the state capital, featured presentations by scholars in the media institutions across Nigeria who did justice to the theme: ”Professional, Inclusive and Conflict Sensitive Reporting of the Ondo State Governorship Election”.

The activity, which is part of the Support to the Media Component of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) Project, is organized by the International Press Centre (IPC) and the Institute for Media and Society (IMS) to strengthen the media to provide fair, accurate and ethical coverage of the electoral process in Nigeria.

In his remarks, the Executive Director of Institute of Media and Society, IMS, Dr. Akin Akingbulu said the roles of Media Professionals cannot be over-emphasised in election process as they provide information and education before, during and after the process.

Pix: Participants.

He noted that the Media Stakeholders’ RoundTable was aimed at strengthening the capacity of the participants in election coverage, adding that the attention of the whole world is on the state in respect of the forthcoming election.

Akingbulu who stated that the success of the election would further strengthen democracy in Nigeria, charged media Professionals and organisations to play their roles as expected, and demonstrate that they were able to serve as watchdogs.

The Executive Director of the International Press Centre, IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade hinted that the programme was organised as part of the Support to the Media Component of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria project.

Arogundade, who was represented by the IPC Programme Manager, Mr. Sanmi Falobi explained that the event was aimed at deepening the role of the participants in promoting Professional and ethical reportage of electoral processes, including conflict sensitive in media coverage of the forthcoming election.

Earlier in his welcome address, the state Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Mr Adetona Aderoboye gave kudos to IPC for the constant capacity building of Journalists in Nigeria.

Represented by the Union’s Secretary, Leke Adegbite, the NUJ boss reminded the participants of the roles played by some media organisations that escalated conflicts in 1983, noting that the reports provided by media organisations could make or mar electoral processes.

On her part, the State Chairperson of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, Mrs. Doris Olumoko enumerated the efforts of her led-executive in sensitising political parties in the State to give women conducive environment to participate in the electoral process.

The Editor, Nigerian Democratic Report, Mr. Ayo Aluko-Olokun while taking the participants through the Nigerian Media Code of Election Coverage, a publication of the IPC Director, stressed the need for media organisations to give all parties equal access and balance reportage of campaign process.

Two media experts who served as resource persons, Prof Ayo Ojebode of the University of Ibadan and Prof Tokunbo Adaja of Joseph Babalola University, Ikeji Arakeji, warned media organizations and political correspondents against unprofessional conducts in coverage of the ondo election to save the state from election violence.

The dons opined that media organisations and professionals must have a deliberate editorial policy to adequately report the under-represented groups in the coverage of electoral processes.

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