The National President of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Comrade Ladi Bala, has highlighted the critical role of the media in the electoral processes ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Comrade Bala gave the highlights, recently, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, while speaking at the opening of a two-day capacity building/mentoring workshop for female journalists organized by the International Press Center (IPC), Lagos, in collaboration with NAWOJ National Secretariat, with support from the European Union (EU).
She noted that the media also plays an important role in strengthening democracy and good governance in Nigeria.
The NAWOJ President urged participants at the workshop to take advantage of the training to enhance their skills and build their capacities to be able to effectively cover the 2023 general elections in the country.
Comrade Bala urged female journalists in Nigeria to stand out, shun financial inducements and support the drive for accurate and inclusive reportage, with a view to combating fake news before, during and after the 2023 general elections.
The Executive Director of the International Press Center (IPC), Lagos Nigeria, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, said the overall objective of the 2-day workshop was “to strengthen the media for fair, accurate, ethical and inclusive resorts reporting of the electoral processes and elections and, in particular, to position female journalists to be in the frontline professional, inclusive, conflict sensitive, fact-checked and data driven coverage and reportage.”
Mr. Arogundade said the workshop is part of the activities under Component 4 (Support to media) of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance (EUSDGN II) project, of which IPC is the lead partner.
He commended the national leadership of NAWOJ for sharing the vision of the IPC and the EU on capacity building for female journalists.
The IPC Executive Director said female journalists are change agents who are committed and passionate about development Journalism and are ready to be equipped with skills and tools to report the electoral processes in a way that would change perspectives and the narratives in the 2023 general elections and beyond.
On day one of the workshop, a resource person and Deputy Editor of Africa Check, Motunrayo Joel, while speaking on “Factual Accuracy and Combating fake news: The place of fact checking and data use in reporting of 2023 elections,” charged journalists to use current and accurate data in their reports as well as do a fact check on information and figures at their disposal to be sure their reportage is accurate and stands out.
Participants were also taken on “Electoral Processes and 2023 Elections: According Priority to Issues of Women and other Underrepresented,” by Dr Titi Osuagwu of the University of Port Harcourt, as well as “Impactful Reporting of Electoral Processes and 2023 Elections: Focusing on Issues and Telling Stories that Matter,” by Taiwo Obe, the founder of Journalism Clinic.
The workshop, which will end on Tuesday, November 8, 2022, attracted female journalists from the broadcast, print and online media of states in the South South, South East and South West states of the country.