participants at the two day workshop on 2023 general election
Fake news, conflict reporting, and security have been identified as the three key issues that affect elections.
At a two-day workshop on the 2023 general election, organized by the Centre for Democracy and Development, INEC and NUJ, participants emphasized the need for journalists to be vigilant, report accurately and avoid high spots.
Fake news is false or misleading information presented as news. Fake news often has the aim of damaging the reputation of a person or entity.
Many participants at the event believe that voters could make wrong choices due to false information about candidates, hence could pose potential threat to the country’s democracy.
The President, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Comrade Chris Isiguzo said, the media remained a strategic stakeholder in the electoral process and needed adequate preparation on curbing fake news, conflict sensitive reporting and maintaining professional standard while covering next year’s elections.
Comrade Isiguzo stated that journalists across the Country were being equipped with tools for fact checking.
The Grant and Partnership Manager, Centre for Democracy and Development, Mr. Damian Ihekonye explained that since election come with lots of conflict related issues, journalists need to put the interest of Nigeria first in their reportage.
The INEC representative, Mr. Anthony Ashibogu, said the Commission had trained journalists and Civil Society Groups on key areas of the electoral act and expressed confidence that the elections will be credible.
The Executive Director of African Center for Entrepreneurship and Information Development, Mr. James Ugochukwu urged Journalists to give early warning signs of danger ahead of the election.
Samuel Atinuku and Sakirat Alabi described the training as timely and said their knowledge on election coverage had increased.
They stressed that security was critical during electioneering as voting, may not take place without adequate provision of security for the electorates, the electoral body and other stakeholders involved in election duties.
Reporting by Sandra Udeike; Editing by Chinasa Ossai and Tersoo Nicholas