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2023 elections: UNESCO tasks the media on professionalism

The media has been urged to ensure that candidates seeking various positions are clear on what they intend to achieve if voted into power to assist the citizens in holding them accountable.

The Representative of the Officer In-Charge, UNESCO Regional Office in Abuja, Mr. Mamadou Sow stated this during a capacity training for editors and INEC officials ahead of the 2023 general elections, that held in Abuja on Tuesday.

Mr. Sow said the media must not only give accurate information, but should also prevent misinformation, disinformation and hate speech.

He noted that the workshop was organized to reinforce the capacity of the participants on International Standards with freedom of expression and good practices to address misinformation, disinformation and hate speech.

“At the end of this workshop, we will have a better understanding of the challenges faced by journalists in particular women journalists covering election and the tools available to ensure their safety.”

Represented by Nuhu Yachat, he explained that the workshop would also assist journalists to know how to play positive roles towards violence-free election through responsible and gender sensitive reporting.

Similarly, the UNDP Chief Technical Adviser for Elections, Mr. Deryck Fritz urged INEC to always carry the stakeholders in the political process along before taking major decisions such as the introduction of new technologies for election purposes.

He said when stakeholders are carried along, it would promote greater transparency in the conduct of elections.

The President, Nigeria Union of Journalsts, NUJ, Mr. Chris Isiguzo urged INEC to carry out its activities in a transparent manner.

Isiguzo who was represented by the National Treasurer, Mr. Banidele Atunbi also urged the media to acquaint themselves with the provisions of electoral Act 2022 as amended in carrying out it’s political reportage.

Reporting by Ogochukwu Okoronkwo; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade and Annabel Nwachukwu