Varsity don urges media Houses to train reporters on reporting democratic processes

By Suru Charles

A lecturer of the Bayaro University, Kano state, Ruqayyah Yusuf Aliyu, has called on media houses and other stakeholders to as a matter of urgency embarks on the processes of training reporters on how to report the democratic processes.

Aliyu, made the call yesterday at a virtual engagement with bloggers and online journalists on conflicts sensitive reporting in the build-up to the 2023 elections.

The Trumpet gathered that the webinar was designed for those residing in the Northern part of Nigeria and had participants from the nineteenth states of the region including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Speaking on the topic “Skills and Methodologies in Covering Campaigns and Elections” the need for media organizations and other stakeholders to train reporters in reporting democratic processes, he believed has become necessary.

Calling on journalists to distance themselves from “misinformation and disinformation” while reporting, the use and power of social media in today’s world, he said “must be given the needed attention” urging them to ” harness its potentials in sensitive reporting of campaigns and elections.”

The don who went ahead to beckoned at media men to avoid name-calling of political actors and parties in an incisive manner, warned journalists to avoid the temptation of rushing to report election results when the umpires assigned with such responsibility have not made it public, stating that “don’t be overzealous by reporting before official pronouncements when reporting election results”.

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He was also observed to have emphasised the importance of journalists ensuring their personal safety while covering elections, stating “remember you need to be alive and safe before you report.”

Aligning his weight to that of Aliyu, Y. Z Ya’u, of the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), who spoke extensively on hate speech, passionately urged journalists to stay away from using their platforms to promote hate speeches before, during and after the general elections.

Insulting people for their religion abusing people for their ethnic or linguistic affiliation expressing contempt against people because of their place of origin disparaging or intimidating women or girls because of their gender, among others, he believed ought to be eschewed by media practitioners.

The exercise which was facilitated by the International Press Centre (IPC), with support from the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EUSDGN II) project, according to the Executive Director of IPC, Lanre Arogundade, is to strengthen the media for fair, accurate, ethical and inclusive reporting of the electoral processes and elections and in particular, to mitigate perceived and anticipated issues of spread of hate speech Online and other forms of non-conflict sensitive reporting.

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