Journalists across the online, print, and broadcast media on Thursday discussed how to unify ahead of the 2023 elections at an event held at the American Corner in the Ikeja area of Lagos.
The programme also had a representative from the police and the Lagos Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC).
Rosemary Ejabor-Afolahan, convener of Media Hangout, said the event was focused on promoting professionalism in the media space towards the elections.
She said the media as the fourth estate of the realm has a pivotal role to play in educating the electorates accurately.
“There is a need for us to bring people in the media together and other stakeholders to see how we can collaborate by working together to ensure that we have a free and fair election,” said Mrs Ejabor-Afolahan, who is also the organiser of the event.
She said it is the responsibility of the media to control the narrative and ensure that more people turn out to participate in the electoral process.
Allwell Okpi, a researcher with Africa Check, urged journalists to be critical of facts and figures from politicians.
“There is no person or institution that is infallible, but journalists need to ask politicians who put out figures and how they arrived at it.
Aliyu Giwa, a police public relations officer, said that during elections, there are limits to what security operatives can do.
He encouraged journalists to be abreast of the responsibilities of security operatives during elections, adding that “there are a lot of things that we see and won’t be able to do anything about.”
Mr Aliyu urged media houses to organise lectures for journalists and law enforcement agents ahead of elections.
Ayo Makinde, a journalist with Channels Television, said the primary duty of any journalist is to disseminate accurate information and hold the government accountable, adding that journalists need to always ask the ‘why’ question – “Why are we doing what we do?”
Rufai Oseni from Arise TV said that irrespective of media affiliations, journalists should be unified and ensure that verified information is disseminated to the public.
“Get the words out,” he said.
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