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Participants at workshop in Owerri call for professionalism by media during election



A two-day capacity building workshop for some South-East-based journalists held at the Great Wood Hotels, Owerri, Imo State, organised by the Nigerian Press Council (NPC), ended at the weekend with a call to practitioners to show and exhibit professionalism in the execution of their job.

It further urged proper funding of media outfits.  Hammersmith Training Consult Limited facilitated the workshop. 

The workshop, which focused on ‘Responsible Media Coverage of Elections’ had in attendance Executive Secretary of NPC, Mr. Nnamdi Njemanze, Director General of Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC), also chairman of the brainstorming exercise, Mr. Ralph Afoaku, Imo State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Francis Ezeonu, and Imo State Council chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Innocent Igwe.

It had three resources persons – Prof. Victor Kogah, Dr. Cajetan Iheanacho, and Dr. B. J. C. Anyanwu. 

Kogah, a professor of Mass Communication, spoke on ‘Responsible Journalism, Ethics and Hate-Speech,’ while Anyanwu drilled the participants on ‘Techniques on Achieving Media Relationship’ and Iheanacho, on ‘Media Roles in the context of Elections.’

Ezeonu, reminded journalists on their watch-dog, agenda setting, surveillance, cultural transmission among educating, informing and entertaining roles, noting that they should observe and report objectively, cross checking facts during elections.

A statement at the end of the workshop was jointly signed by Njemanze and Igwe, and it reads: “Media houses should be properly funded to enable them buy state-of-the-art equipment that will bring about and facilitate productive and effective output.

Media practitioners should be well remunerated and salaries paid as and when due so that they will not indulge in unethical practices. The participants underscored the need for media practitioners to be very knowledgeable of the Electoral Laws and be guided by the extant rules in the exercise of their duties.

“Journalists must ensure that they exhibit professionalism in the exercise of their duties by strict adherence to the professional code of ethics.”

Conclusively, it states: “Participants noted that the workshop on Responsible Media Coverage of Elections is timely and apt. They commended the Nigerian Press Council for coming up with this initiative and Hammersmith Training Consult for facilitating it.”

The workshop was attended by 52 participants consisting journalists from the five South East States of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States, federal and state governments officials, and the academia.

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