IPC tasks journalists on use of election code to report campaigns
Media practitioners seek legislation on immunity
The International Press Centre (IPC) has tasked journalists to professionally report the political campaigns within the context of the provisions of the Nigerian Media Code of Election Coverage.
Director, IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, in a statement on Monday noted: “The Nigerian Media Code of Election Coverage, Revised Edition 2018, which was endorsed by over a hundred media professional groups and associations; broadcast, print and online media outlets; media support/development groups; and journalism training institutions, provides detailed guidelines for the professional coverage and reporting of the elections.”
He said the guidelines stipulate that journalists should give equitable access to parties and candidates, reflect the views of under-represented groups like women, people living with disabilities and youths, and refrain from publishing or airing stories, headlines, images and adverts that constitute hate-speech, which could incite violence.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Correspondents’ Chapel in Rivers State, has implored the National Assembly to pass a law that would grant immunity to journalists to enable them play their roles effectively towards credible elections in the country.
According to the union, enacting the law would guard against intimidation, harassment, abuses suffered by journalists in the course of their duties and also help them to report objectively without fear.
The chapel, which made the appeal in a 10-point communique issued at the ongoing 2018 Correspondents’ Chapels Week in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, blamed the incessant attacks on journalists on lack of legislation protecting them.
The communique, signed by a five-man panel and chaired by Mr. Godfrey Azubike, said that elections in Nigeria had always been characterised by violence, vote-buying, snatching of ballot boxes, intimidation, thuggery and outright manipulations.
It, however, charged other stakeholders to maintain decorum before, during and after elections.
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