INTRODUCTION The workshop was organized by the International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos-Nigeria, with the support of the Democratic Governance for Development (DGD lll) Project of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), for journalists from the South Eastern States of Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Abia and Anambra. In attendance were about twenty male and female journalists from
The workshop was organized by the International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos-Nigeria, with the support of the Democratic Governance for Development (DGD lll) Project of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), for journalists from the South Eastern States of Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Abia and Anambra.
In attendance were about twenty male and female journalists from the print and broadcast media in the geo-political zone.
The main objective of the workshop was to ensure that reporters and editors accord priority to professional standards and conflict-sensitivity as well as the public and the gender interest in reporting the 2015 elections.
The workshop therefore featured the following presentations: “The Professional Imperative of Focusing on Issues and the Public” by Mr. Gorge Izobo, former President, Nigeria Union of Journalists; “The Principles & Essentials of Gender Factor in Reporting 2015 Elections” by Dr. Ifeoma Dunu, Mass Communication Teacher and “Understanding Conflict Sensitive Journalism and the importance of Conflict Sensitivity in Reporting 2015 Elections/ Safety in Conflict reporting” by Mr. Tunde Aremu, Media Development Specialist, Abuja, FCT.
Following the general discussion and presentation of story ideas drawing from the knowledge gained in the course of the workshop, the participant made the following recommendations:
- Journalists should exhibit high sense of professionalism in reporting the elections more so as good journalism requires the provision of accurate and reliable information to citizens;
- Journalists should promote the public interest and equity in election reporting by giving access to citizens, political parties, candidates and underrepresented groups;
- Journalists should ensure compliance with legislative and institutional frameworks in reporting the elections;
- Media owners, managers and governments should create the enabling environment for the effective reporting of the elections through the provision of adequate resources and the protection of journalists from harassment and threats;
- The Media should factor gender balance in their reportage of elections by giving equitable access to the male and female gender;
- Journalists should throw more light on issues that inhibit the participation of women in politics through in-depth research other than associating them with such subjects as sex, beauty among others in their reportage;
- The media should avoid framing, bias and use of languages that tend to relegate women, such as mankind, chairman etc., which could be replaced with words like people/persons or chairperson;
- The Media should intensify efforts to report and represent women effectively and endeavor to make the women voices heard;
- Media reports that trigger conflicts should be downplayed and replaced with realistic in-depth research and balanced views of individuals as required by the ethics and the social responsibility theory of the profession;
- The media should endeavour to utilize the outcome of the opinion poll conducted by the International Press Center, Lagos on the public agenda for media reporting of 2015 elections, as they clearly highlight the public interest;
- The media and journalists should adequately arm themselves with modern trends and skills, especially in the use of the social media to enhance their factual reporting of the elections.
The participants expressed gratitude to the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Democratic Governance for Development (DGD II) Project which is funded with contributions from the European Union (EU), UK AID, the Canadian International Development Agency and the UNDP for supporting the workshop.
Additional Papers Presented:
Gender Factoring in Election Reporting [wpdm_file id=29]
Conflict Sensitive Journalism and the 2015 Elections [wpdm_file id=30]
Professional Imperative of Issues and Public Interest in Reporting 2015 Elections [wpdm_file id=31]