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NUJ, IPC warn journalists against biased election coverage


Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos chapter, Dr. Qasim Akinreti, has urged journalists to eschew partisanship in reporting tomorrow’s election.He charged them to be responsible and responsive in their reportage, while ensuring balance in their stories.

“It is not our own making that politicians are fighting one another, but we need to report what is going on. In doing so, we must be extremely responsible, because at the end of the day, we account for our actions.

“International agencies would also be coming in to monitor the elections, and we must report credibly, make our organisation proud and let these foreign election observers know that we are credible in our reportage. Don’t be partisan,” he said. Akinreti also warned against announcing fake results.

“Journalists should not announce results that have not being authenticated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). This is very important.“Journalists should not raise false alarm of disunity in this country; they should not raise the adrenaline of Nigerians unnecessarily. If you are not sure of your facts, please stand it down for a while; if you are sure of your fact from INEC, please go ahead and publish,” he stressed.

The director, International Press Centre (IPC), Lanre Arogundade, charged the media to contribute meaningfully towards a credible election.“The whole essence is that if the media gets it right, the main electoral institutions would get it right during the electoral processes. It is never too late, especially when it comes to issues of hate speech and conflict sensitivity. One single report could spark violence all over the country, but how we report them is vital.

“Our language of reporting, especially the headlines, must help people make informed choices as against the one that will encourage more division within the society and possibly lead to violence,” he added.

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Qasim Akinreti
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