The UNDP in collaboration with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has urged journalists to promote peace and unity in their reportage of the 2019 general election in the country.
UNDP Nigeria Acting Resident Representative Betty Wabunoha made the call at the opening ceremony of conflict sensitive reportage workshop in Jos, Plateau State, North central Nigeria.
She said voters and candidates rely heavily on access to the media to impart and receive information to make informed choices.
The media has a unique role to play as both the conveyor and recipient of information, it does not only have an essential watchdog function that increases the transparency and accountability of the process, it also , if responsibly and appropriately used, helps strengthen the Democratic process and contribute to a more credible and inclusive election. In conflict sensitive electoral environment, the media holds the key to prevent election related conflicts from occurring and escalating. This is only possible through carefully calculated reporting of events around election, she explained.
In his remarks, UNDP resident Director, Mathew Alao said as critical stakeholders, journalists need to objectively promote peace and unity of the country.
The lead consultant UNDP, Mr. Emmanuel Mamman said the essence of the workshop was to create a platform for journalists to dialogue on ways that would douse adversarial tendencies arising from contest into electoral offices.
It will provide requisite skills in covering and reporting elections in a conflict sensitive manner especially in a multicultural society likely Nigeria, create opportunity to create an enabling environment for media to cover elections without hindrances, share knowledge and experience on key legal institutional frameworks, codes and laws, he said.
In his good will message, Plateau state governor Solomon Daloung encouraged Journalists to be above board and professional in their reportage.
Do not fan the fire of conflicts, embrace the profession’s core values and human rights, he stated
The workshop, funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs had over 100 journalists from six states in North Central Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory.
Source: Voice of Nigeria