The International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos-Nigeria, is set to conduct a one-day webinar/virtual capacity building session for journalists ahead of the Ondo and Edo State governorship elections.
The webinar, organized by the International Press Centre, under component 4b: support to media of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) project, aims to engage and build the capacity of select journalists and media stakeholders in Ondo and Edo State respectively.
According to the Executive Director of IPC, Lanre Arogundade, the media capacity building session is aimed at consolidating efforts by INEC and other electoral stakeholders under the EU-SDGN project to ensure that the media coverage of the Ondo and Edo State elections is professional.
“As INEC gear up plans to conduct governorship elections on September 19 and October 10 in Ondo and Edo State respectively, it is imperative that media coverage of the process leading to the elections are professionally done in such a way that the germane issues that will promote greater stakeholders and citizens participation in the elections are brought to the fore of media reportage.
“Our preliminary observations have revealed rising issues of political conflicts and tension which have produced news headlines and reports of personality clashes and hostilities around certain political actors in the elections. The media needs to be careful so as not to become entangled in the twist of events, so that emerging media reports do not create undue tension which may dissuade the electorates from fully participating in the elections”, Arogundade said.
The webinar session, which shall feature key stakeholders representatives from INEC and other institutional stakeholders shall include special capacity building sessions by media experts who shall facilitate themes for professional and ethical reportage of the elections, including issues of inclusivity, fact checking, hate speech and conflict-sensitive reporting (online/offline).
“Key remarks shall be received from Rotimi Oyekanmi, Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, including perspectives from representatives of disability and gender groups such as David Anyaele of Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) and Mrs. Mufuliat Fijabi of the Nigerian Women Trust Fund, among other stakeholders.
Martins Oloja of the Guardian Newspaper and David Ajikobi of AfricaCkeck shall facilitate the capacity budding sessions for the Ondo webinar, on Zoom platform scheduled for Tuesday August 11, 2020, while Joshua Olufemi of Dataphyte, including other media experts shall facilitate the Edo capacity building session schedule for Thursday, August 13, 2020 respectively”, Arogundade said.
“The webinar, which is held in collaboration with the leadership of the NUJ councils in the two States is aimed at deepening the role of the media (conventional and new/social) in promoting professional and ethical reportage of electoral processes, including issues of inclusivity, accountable democratic practices, factual and conflict-sensitive reporting of the process leading to the governorship elections, the elections proper and emerging post elections issues, among others”, Arogundade further added.