By Odera Ebeze
LAGOS—NOTABLE media practitioners and civil society activists, have called on the Nigerian media to commence early preparations to ensure effective coverage of the 2023 general elections for the betterment of the polity.
This was the view of some leading media practitioners and civil society leaders, in Lagos, yesterday.
They spoke at the launching of the book; Media and Elections: Professional Responsibilities of Journalists, written by former Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalist NUJ, Lagos State Council, Mr. Lanre Arogundade.
Speaking on why he wrote the book, Arogundade, who urged newsmen across the nation to see election coverage and reportage as a huge responsibility that helps in nation building, said the title of the book gives an indication that there is a huge responsibility on the media in the coverage of elections in Nigeria.
His words: “Even though we have just finished an election, election cycles are very short. Between now and the end of the year, we have two governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states and before you know it, we are going to start having campaigns for 2023 elections. So, I felt let us begin to prepare now and I am also looking at young journalists and students who are in school now, who by the time of next elections will have become reporters. And that is why the book is written in very practical terms—giving details and giving examples of what they can do. So for me, it is quite relevant because we are still in election season. This is the right time to talk about media and elections and our professional responsibilities.”
Also speaking, the publisher of Premium Times, Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi, suggested that during election periods, the media should be provided with some resources because the Constitution in Section 22 gives the media the responsibility of monitoring governance and holding government accountable to the people.
Olorunyomi said: “That particular responsibility comes to the fore during the electoral process so we need more engagement for us to be able to implement the recommendations of the European Observation Mission, EOM.”
Reviewed by Professor of Mass Communication, Prof. Muyiwa Bukola, dignitaries at the event included; Former SSG, Lagos State, Tunji Bello, Mr Gbenga Adefaye, GM/editor in Chief, Vanguard, Editor of Vanguard, Mr. Eze Anaba; Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC of Lagos State, Mr. Sam Olumekun; Senator Babafemi Ojudu; Kunle Ajibade; Ekiti State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Muyiwa Olumilua; Ganiat Fawehinmi, Mohammed Fawehinmi, Mr. VinMartin Obiora Ilo and Deputy MD of ThisDay, Mr Kayode Komolafe and his wife, Funmi.