Election stakeholders have challenged media practitioners on ensuring credible coverage of the 2023 general election to safeguard Nigeria’s democracy.
They made the call at a one-day roundtable on the role of mass media in a free and fair election for sustainable democracy, organised by Japan International Cooperation Agency, JICA, Alumni Association of Nigeria in Abuja.
Director-General, Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, Salihu Dembos, said most of the challenges journalists faced could easily be overcome by maintaining credibility and avoiding fake news. He added that there has been a universal agreement that journalists must be properly guided, especially in the reportage of elections.
The Keynote Speaker, Josiah Kante, of the Department of Mass Communication, Nasarawa State University, advised journalists not to dance to the tune of politicians. He also urged the media to shun reportage of religious and ethnic bigotry, among others.
On his part, President, JICA Alumni Association of Nigeria, Ahmed Agberankhe, said the aim was to help to build a strong and virile Nigerian economy and promote economic and cultural ties between Nigeria and Japan.
Also, the National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Festus Okoye, noted that the Commission recognised the media as a critical stakeholder in the political process.