Oyewale Oyelola, Abeokuta
The International Press Centre (IPC) has charged Online Journalists and Bloggers in Nigeria to adhere strictly to the code of election coverage before, during and after 2019 general elections.
The Council made this call on Tuesday during the opening session of two-day Workshop for Online Journalists/Bloggers on Conflict Sensitive Reporting held at Continental Suites, Ibara, Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital.
The Chairman, Lagos state chapter of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Dr. Qasim Akinreti who spoke on Social Media and Elections advised bloggers to always verify the credibility of their news sources before publishing it on their website.
Dr. Akinreti who is also Assistant News Editor, Voice of Nigeria lauded Premium Times, The Cable, Daily Post, Naij.com and other frontline online newspapers for their professionalism and indepth analyses of critical national issues.
He noted that Premium Times uncovers the former Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun’s NYSC Exemption certificate scandal and follow it up till the minister resigned last week.
The NUJ Boss however said that a lot of unqualified handlers have abused the platform over the years, stating that online journalists/bloggers must go for the required training of a journalist and register as a member of the NUJ.
In his lecture, Dr. Nathaniel Dan Jibo from the Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ibadan extensively spoke about conflict, its causes and effects as well as how best to report it.
Dr. Jibo said Conflict Sensitive Journalism is the practice of writing news stories about a conflict in a way that does not worsen the situation by avoiding inflammatory language and seeking ways to resolve the conflict.
He charged participants to provide indepth analysis, feature all sides in the report and give opportunity to all parties involved to hear their views, explaining that journalists must desist from using incisive words while reporting conflict related issues.
The University Don added that they are also going to benefit or suffer from whatever happens to the society as a member on account of their reports.
While delivering his lecture on ‘Understanding communication challenges in the age of conflict, hate speech and fake news’, advised online journalists/bloggers journalists to dignify themselves as credible source of information to the public.
Professor Owens-Ibie stressed that the issue of hate speech and fake news have done a lot of harm to Nigeria as a country, adding that journalists must ensure that they are not disintegrating the country through online posts and publications.
Our correspondent reports that 30 Online Journalists/Bloggers drawn from six south west states are participating in the workshop.
FactualTimes gathered that another set of 30 participants will be part of similarly workshop to hold in Abuja between September 20 and 21, 2018.
The Director, International Press Centre, Mr. Lanre Arogundade and Chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalists, Ogun State, Comrade Wole Shokunbi were also present at the workshop
The workshop was organised by IPC and supported by the European Union (EU) under Component 4b: Support to the Media of the European Union Support for Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) project.