2023: Stakeholders Task Media On Agenda Setting, Fairness - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Monday, May 2, 2022

2023: Stakeholders Task Media On Agenda Setting, Fairness

LAGOS - Ahead of the 2023 general elections, media stakeholders in Nigeria have asked practitioners as agenda-setters, to provide positive context that would engender progressive assured future for the country.

They also tasked media practitioners on balanced coverage for smaller political parties, investigative journalism and fact-checking.

The media experts made the call yesterday during a webinar titled: “Ninety Minutes Africa” anchored by Chido Onumah and Rudolf Okonkwo with the topic: “The Role of the Media in 2023 Election” and “The Media in Crisis: Saving the media in Nigeria.”

Speaking during the webinar, senior vice chairman, LEADERSHIP Newspapers, Mr. Azu Ishiekwene, described the media as an enabler of democracy.

He called for the expansion of the knowledgebase of journalists on the Freedom of Information Act (FoI) and collaboration among journalists as a handy tool to solving myriads of problems ahead of the 2023 elections.

He described a journalist as someone who has the requisite qualifications, on-the-job training, as well as someone who upholds the ethics of the profession.

Ishiekwene stressed that the misuse of security agencies during elections, vote-buying and selling and ownership interest as factors that can mar the polls.

He also urged media houses to set up guidelines and standards in their newsroom on the coverage of elections.

On her part, the chief executive officer (CEO), RadioNow 93.5FM, Kadaria Ahmed, urged media houses to strike a balance in terms of coverage for both big and smaller political parties.

“The media should focus on setting an agenda for a better candidate but, sadly, we are stuck in between the zoning of presidential candidates, religion, party primaries and high cost of forms,” she said.

Kadaria said the mass media is central to the development of any democratic society, adding that it should not fail in holding the leaders accountable.

“Section 22 of the constitution states: “The press, radio, television and other agencies of mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this chapter (i.e. Chapter 2 of the Constitution) and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people,” she said.

The publisher of TheCable online, Simon Kolawole, lamented that citizen journalism is an aberration to journalism practice.

He stressed that a journalist must be trained on the job and have classroom knowledge of the profession.

Kolawole added that journalism is not an all-comers’ affair.

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