Barely two months to the 2019 general elections in Nigeria, the International Press Centre (IPC) concluded a two-day workshop for 40 journalists from media organisations in the South-west on Friday.
The training was tagged: ‘Best Practices and Professional Reporting of the Electoral Process’.
The workshop held in collaboration with the project of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) at Ideal Nest Hotel, Osogbo, Osun State.
Beneficiaries of the workshop include journalists with PREMIUM TIMES and other media outfits.
The facilitators were: Taiwo Obe; founder of Journalism Clinic; Muyiwa Popoola; a professor of journalism at Ajayi Crowther University and David Ajikobi; Head of AfricanCheck in Nigeria. They took the journalists on ethics, fact-checking and digital media.
In his welcome address, the IPC chairman, Lanre Arogundade, said over 200 applications were received and of these, only 40 were selected to take part.
“This event is organised to critically examine the interconnections between the public, the media and elections towards developing an agenda that seeks to strengthen the role of the media in facilitating a credible electoral process.
“The aim of the meeting also is to bring to the front burner, the prerequisites 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 said the training will help participants to understand and imbibe the principles of fairness, diversity and objectivity in reporting the electoral process.
Mr Popoola, while training reporters on how to be conflict sensitive in election reporting, encouraged them to “do research and figure out shadow parties in political conflict” and ”trace the link of any report before publishing to avoid reports that may lead to violence if not properly managed”.
Also, Mr Ajikobi took the participants on the necessary tools needed for fact-checking politicians ”before, during and after the electioneering process”.
Meanwhile, Mr Obe taught the participants on how to enhance the professional reporting of the electoral process using multimedia and digital approaches.
Participants expressed their satisfaction after the training.
Bukola Agbakaizu of Ogun State Television said: “The workshop is an impactful one and has opened my eyes to best practices of political reportage. I also learned how to he conflict sensitive”.
Sekinah Lawal, chairperson, Women Journalists, Lagos chapter, applauded the trainers.
“The training is educative and enlightening and I feel that all Nigerian Journalists should be exposed to this. We hope that we have a better political environment so that Journalists will fully discharge their duties.”
Also, Ebunoluwa Olafusi of The Cable said: “the training was exciting and facilitators exceeded my expectations”.
The general election is scheduled to hold in February.
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