CAPPA, Eu-SDGN Workshop: Journalists advised to promote good governance

By Henry Ibya, Makurdi

Journalists in the country have been advised to shun divisive reporting an experience that has promoted ethnic, tribal and religious sentiments especially in the post-independence era,by rather embracing responsible journalism practice to promote good governance.

Speaking at a capacity building workshop in Makurdi, organised by Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa, CAPPA in collaboration with European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria, EU- SDGN on Peaceful and Non- Violent Elections, Executive Director CAPPA, Akinbode Oluwafemi, explained that the media with a constitutional responsibility to shape opinions to enable citizens make informed decisions must be free, stressing that without this, citizens would be at the mercy of the rich and mighty.

The Executive Director CAPPA, represented at the occasion by Zikorah Ibeh, said the media must educate the public on election matters, provide equal platforms for all political parties and help publicise political party manifestoes.

He said journalists, equally owed the public accuracy in their reportage, send out to the public space verifiable information that is balanced and neutral, as well as to be conflict sensitive in carrying out election duties, adding that journalists must be allowed on the other hand to perform their election duty safely and must be protected from-threats.

In a paper presentation on the topic; The Electoral Law and Provisions for the Media, Policy and Legal Drafting Officer, CAPPA , Shade Oyelade advised journalists to study the 2022 Electoral Act which has many innovations for them to be conversant with its provisions to be in better position to inform the public properly.

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Also making a presentation on Conflict Sensitive Journalism: Election and Post Election Roles of the Media, Professor of Journalism, Lagos State University, LASU, Tunde Akanni advised journalists to learn to sustain peace in their reportage after elections by adopting multi-track diplomacy in writing, bearing in mind that elections are like war.

In a welcome remark programme Assistant EU- SDGN II Project,CAPPA,Chidinma Eferebo, outlined objectives of the programme as to examine challenges journalists face during election, build capacity on non biased reporting and promotion of non Peaceful and non Violent electoral process,to familiarize journalists with the Electoral Act 2022,educate journalists on the importance of inclusive election reporting with a focus on understanding the election and disability and enhanced journalists skills in fact checking and using digital media to combat misinformation and fake news.

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