By Fisayo Akinduro
Journalists and media organisations have been enjoined to be factual and rational in their exchange of views on the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
They were also urged to avoid opinion and not to fake or fabricate data in their reportage.
Prof. Rotimi Olatunji of the School of Communication, University of Lagos gave the advice yesterday at a workshop organised by Nigerian Press Council, NPC, in Abeokuta.
Olatunji while speaking on “The Imperative of Journalism Ethics in The Coverage of 2023 Nigeria General Elections”, said journalists and media organisations have critical roles to play in nation’s development.
While x-raying media role in the 2015 general elections, the don said 12 newspapers were surveyed; 10 regional newspapers and four social media platforms
He said findings from the research showed that the parties prominence of newspaper reportage given to political prominence are; APC 47.01 percent PDP 44.67 percent, other parties 8.4 percent.
Olatunji stated that the media are expected to provide a civic forum for debate and exchange of ideas.
He said they are also expected to be free and independent from government and other center of powers.
Delivering his lecture, Head of Department, Mass Communication, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Dr Raphael Abimbola noted that the press serves as surveillance over the activities of the nobles and judges.
Abimbola while speaking on the theme; “Reporting Elections’ Results and Resolution of Election Disputes” said it is imperative for journalists covering election to be abreast of the provision of the Electoral Act as well as INEC guidelines for the collation and declaration of results.
While speaking on accuracy and non-partisanship in election, he said accurate reporting requires close attention to a pletoral of details.
On election disputes resolution, he said it could be resolved in two ways; the political party appeal panel and the judicial panel(court).
He urged Journalists to be safety conscious while covering elections.
In his opening remarks, the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Press Council, Francis Nwosu said the council would do everything possible to protect the practice of journalism in the country.
Nwosu said “we must all fight to restore the glory of journalism and always keep to the code of ethics guiding the profession.
While declaring the workshop open, Ogun State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Waheed Odusile said Nigeria must remain united and indivisible, stating that whatever our differences, we should solve it.
The former National President of Nigeria Union of Journalists, said journalists should be mindful of what they say and write in order not to write Nigeria out of existence.