Nigerian Journalists Urged To Make Use Of Media Code Of Election Coverage For Credible Reporting

Nigeria LAGOS – On Tuesday, some media stakeholders gathered during an event at International Press Centre, Ogba, to discuss how Journalists can take advantage of the newly launched media code in reporting the upcoming elections.

Speaking at the event, the president of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mr Femi Adeshina, who was represented by Director of Operations,  Guardian Newspapers, Bolaji Tunji, said every journalist in Nigeria should get a copy of the code.

Tunji said, “stakeholders in the media had worked hard over the past many months to articulate what is now called The Nigerian Media Code of Election Coverage, which has now been formally presented to the public. 

“What are some of germane issues in the code?  Equitable access of parties and candidates to the media; the responsibilities of media organisations, how to conduct opinion polls impartially and responsibly, how to do endorsements, does and don’ts of political advertisement, avoiding hate speech, conflict sensitivity, and others.  Many of these things constitute the bane of electoral practice in our country, and if journalists and media houses can play their roles effectively, the impact could be tremendous.”

Also speaking at the event, Assistant Editor, Vanguard Newspaper, Mrs Funmi Komolafe  stated that the media code is the first book that will guide Journalist on election coverage in the country.

Komolafe said, “I am concerned about the protection of journalists. At some point Journalists become intruders.

“I am worried about the issue of ownership interest. Owners of media organization have interest; they have their mission statement.

“The media is suppose to focus on under represented groups, people in the grassroots should be represented.”

Abimbola Yetunde, the secretary of the Nigerian Union of Journalists also added that Journalists should be objective when reporting election.

“Journalists are bound to report credibly, we must not be subjective. Too much prominence should not be given to one side.” Yetunde said.

David Atilola is a Student-Journalist, with a keen interest in development journalism. He is presently studying Mass Communication at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism. He is also a spoken word artist,who believes poetry is a tool to effect a positive social change in the society. David is a Social media enthusiast and writer, using his little voice to speak change to the lives of youths. Follow David on twitter @davidatilola