By Onozure Dania
STAKEHOLDERS in the media have urged journalists in the country to adhere to journalism ethics, especially with the 2019 general elections in view.
The call was made yesterday during the two days inaugural stakeholders’ meeting on The Nigerian Media Code of Election Coverage, organised by the International Press Centre, IPC, with the support of European Union, EU, in Lagos.
The meeting focused on section four of the code, which states that hate speech and other forms of incitement can lead to violence and threaten the fragile democracy of the country.
Speaking, Chief Executive Officer, Channels Television and President, Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, BON, Mr. John Momoh, called for strict adherence to the code of conduct for journalists, while also advising the Nigerian Press Council to update the code of ethics.
He stressed that there was need for the update as journalists owe groups and stakeholders different obligations during elections, noting that in fulfilling these obligations it is the role of the media to highlight the process and activities of all stakeholders—the electorate, candidates, political parties, the umpire among others.
Momoh, who was represented by Mrs Adeola Olumeyan, Assistant General Counsel and Company Secretary, also stressed the need for job security, improved remuneration, training and rewards for journalists that distinguish themselves in their reporting.
While recommending guidelines for journalists, he said journalists must satisfy the public interest by reporting balanced stories and not sharing information potentially capable of promoting violence.
“Journalism entails a high degree of public trust and to earn and maintain this trust, it is morally imperative for every journalist and every, news medium to observe the highest professional and ethical standard.