From left: Mr. Lanre Arogundade, Director, IPC; Mr. Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director, MRA; Mrs. Ifeyinwa Omowale, President, NAWOJ; Mr. Nnamdi Njemanze, Executive Secretary, NPC; Mr. Abdulwaheed Odusile, President, NUJ; Book presenter, Mr. Femi Adesina, SA media and publicity to President Mohammadu Buhari; Mrs. Stella Jibrin, Deputy Director, Research and Documentation, NPC; the keynote presenter, Prof.
AS part of efforts to ensure that electoral process in Nigeria conform with international standards, the activities of a total of 29 media outlets, for six months (from November 2014 to April 2015), were put on the spotlight with the aim of evaluating their coverage of 2015 General Elections.
The exercise, as a key highlight of the broad project tagged, Media Capacity Building, Mentoring and Monitoring for Conflict-Sensitive, Public-Issue and ICT-Driven Reporting of 2015, is a collaborative undertaking of Democratic Governance for Development (DGD) II (supported with funds contributed by the European Union (EU), UKAid, the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) and UNDP); Nigerian Press Council (NPC); as well as International Press Council (IPC).
The period of the monitoring was carefully designed in order to undertake assessment of the performance of the concerned media outlets prior to, during, and immediately after the elections with emphasis on: use of sources, conflict sensitivity, language use, coverage of issues and coverage of the election management body.
The outcome of the monitoring exercise has now been documented entitled Reportage of 2015 Elections: A Monitoring Scorecard of Print and Online Media. The public presentation of the publication held last Thursday in Abuja attracted the presence of distinguished personalities such as Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to the President, Mr. Femi Adesina; Project Director, UNDP-DGD, Dr. Mourtada Deme was represented by the Media Expert, UNDP-DGD, Toyin Gabriel; President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. Abdulwaheed Odusile; Executive Secretary, NPC, Mr. Nnamdi Njemanze; President, National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Mrs Ifeyinwa Omowole; Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade; Mr. Edetaen Ojo of Media Right Agenda (MRA) among others.
The presentation on Ethics in Election Reporting: Looking into the future by Prof. Nosa Owens-Ibie of Caleb University who is also Secretary-General, Association of Communication Scholars and Professionals of Nigeria (ACSPN) added intellectual touch to the ceremony.
In her brief remarks, the representative of DGD Project Director, Toyin Gabriel dwelled on the overall objectives of the initiative which included strengthening the democratic character of Nigerian political processes as well as promoting outcomes that consolidate and advance democratic governance and accountability to achieve Nigeria’s stated development priorities and goals.
According to her, DGD II provides, specifically, technical and financial support to INEC, civil society organizations and institutions such as the media, National Assembly and political parties as a means of strengthening accountable and responsive governance institutions and consolidating democratic governance in line with international best practices.
Media outlets monitored were categorized into national, regional, online and social media platforms. The breakdown reveals 12 national newspapers – Daily Sun, The Nation, National Mirror, Vanguard, The Punch, ThisDay, Daily Independent, The Guardian, Nigerian Tribune, Daily Champion, Leadership and Daily Trust; 10 regional newspapers – Nigerian Chronicle, Daily Star, Nigerian Observer, Nigerian Pilot, Abuja Inquirer, Peoples’ Daily, Blueprint, The Gleaner, Desert Herald, and Fresh Facts; four online news media – The Tide, The Cable, Sahara Reporters and Premium Times; and three social media platforms – Enough-is-Enough Nigeria, Reclaim Naija and INEC.
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Source: By Kabir Alabi Garba (c) The Guardian Newspaper.