The Journalism and Development Seminars (JADESeminars) Initiative in collaboration with the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), FCT Council, on May 16 held a workshop to reflect on the performance of the media during the 2023 elections. Discussions focused on the role journalists played in the monitoring, reporting and coverage of the election.
Participants agreed that the media did not live up to expectations before, during and after the elections due to many factors. Some of the reasons, according to them, were ethnic and religious bias of reporters, partisanship, influence of money, corruption, intimidation, and insecurity.
One participant pointed out that many journalists were emotive about the election, making it difficult for them to be objective. The general view was that most journalists did not understand the electoral laws. This they noted, hindered the efficient coverage and monitoring of the elections.
A key recommendation of the workshop was that media houses should organise training and capacity-building programmes for journalists to enable them strengthen their knowledge of the electoral laws and how to carry out their duties professionally.
The coordinator of JADESeminars, Angela Agoawike, said the aim of the event was to provide a platform for the media to continue to play its role of holding government and politicians accountable and “reflect on the media’s performance in the last elections, the hits, the misses, and expectation for post-May 29 coverage of the new government and the people who will pilot the affair of the state.”
The African Centre for Media & Information (AFRICMIL) was represented at the event by its coordinator, Dr Chido Onumah, Doyin Ojosipe and Nnenna Okonkwo.
Some of the senior journalists and development practitioners who participated in the event included Emmanuel Ogbeche, Chairman, NUJ, FCT Council, Senator Iroegbu, Journalist and Security Consultant, Uche Ugboajah, Editor-in-Chief, Ikengaonline, Dayo Aiyetan, Executive Director, International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), Fidelis Mbah, independent journalist and digital strategist, Zainab Okino, columnist, public affairs analyst, and editorial board chair of Blueprint newspaper, and Catherine Agbo, development communication specialist and deputy editor, 21st Century Chronicle.