Stakeholders adopt media code for 2019 general elections
Stakeholders on Friday in Abuja adopted the media code for the coverage of the 2019 general elections.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 35-page media code of conduct booklet was presented by the European Union (EU) at the ongoing 67th World Congress of the International Press Institute (IPI).
Richard Young, the EU representative at the event, said that the code was worked out by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria and RATTAWU.
He listed the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) and the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers, among those who produced the code.
Young said that the EU was involved in logistics, publishing and distribution of the code as part of its commitments to successful elections in the country.
He added that “we are doing this because we believe it will help in the process of conducting peaceful, transparent, free, fair and credible elections.
“The role of the media in achieving these is very crucial and cannot be overemphasised.”
Nduka Obaigbena, the Chairman of NPAN, said that the code had been adopted by six umbrella media organisations and 15 media support and development groups.
Obaigbena said two journalism training institutes and 75 broadcast, prints and online outfits in Nigeria had also adopted the code.
Prior to the code presentation, a panel of international journalists had discussed the topic “Why Good Journalism Matters and How to make People Like it.”
The session was moderated by Kadaria Ahmed, the Founder and Executive Director of Daria Media Ltd. Nigeria.
The panelists included John Daniszewski of Associated Press (AP), USA, Glenda Gloria of Rappler in Phillipines, David Jordan of BBC, UK, Khadijat Patel of Mail and Guardian, South Africa and Mostefa Souag of Aljazeera, Qatar.
The panelists collectively agreed that free press depended largely on financial viability and often times the interests of founder and financier of a stable were projected.
They also underscored the need for media houses to place emphasis on internal control mechanism adding
that training and capacity building were crucial to enhancing good journalism.
Specifically, Patel on Mail and Guardian expressed shock on the dangerous trend where journalists on the field were not being paid salaries, exploited and exposed to corrupt tendencies by their employers.
She suggested that journalists should form alliances to establish their stables, considering the fact that technology and ICT had made the venture less expensive.
There was also a panel discussion on the topic “Political Transitions and Democratic Change in Africa” which was moderated by Scot Griffen, the Deputy Director of IPI.
The discussants analysed and compared experiences of journalists during elections and political transitions in the U.S., and African countries like South Africa, Kenya, Namibia and Nigeria.(NAN)