Journalists urged to be gender balanced in pre/post-election reportage
A call has gone to journalists, especially political reporters, to imbibe principles of fairness, equality diversity and objectivity in reporting the electoral process and elections.
This call was made at a recently concluded 2-day workshop in Osogbo, organised by the International Press Centre (IPC) and the European Union Support for Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN).
Speakers emphasised the need not to neglect adequate reportage of all aspirants, including the females, during the forthcoming elections.
In his paper, Muyiwa Popoola, Professor of Journalism, Communication and Media Studies, Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, urged journalists to give fair and non-discriminatory reportage to all aspirants, regardless of gender.
Popoola also called for caution on the use of certain provocative and damaging words, which could lead to mayhem among the political class or the general public.
He emphasised that good journalism includes accuracy, impartiality and responsibility.
Also speaking at the workshop, Nigeria Editor at AfricaCheck, David Ajikobi, also stressed the need of participants to shun bias in election reportage.
Ajikobi urged journalists to avoid speculations and fake news, rather, they should acquire skills necessary in fact-checking to enable them to present correct facts to readers.
On his part, Taiwo Obe, Founder, The Journalism Clinic, urged participants to begin to think and act like entrepreneurs, instead of relying on “brown envelopes.” He added that only creativity and optimisation of the journalistic skills can bring out results, and that will drive financial gains.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, Lanre Arogundade, Director, International Press Centre, Lagos, stated that the workshop, with the theme “Best practices and professional reporting of the electoral process,” observed that the media have a critical agenda-setting role to support the integrity and credibility of elections, hence the need to train journalists on professional and ethical reportage of democratic processes.
His words “The media have a critical agenda-setting role to support the integrity and credibility of elections. Not only must they take a lead role in ensuring that citizens are adequately mobilised, but they should also ensure that the entire process is open to public scrutiny.”
Arogundade urged journalists, especially those covering elections to imbibe the principles of fairness, diversity and objectivity in reporting the electoral process and the elections.