The International Press Centre (IPC) has disclosed that 12 media monitors have started a two-day training to prepare them for the monitoring, coverage and reportage of the electoral processes and the 2023 elections by the print and online media.
In a press statement signed by Olutoyin Ayoade, IPC Communications Officer on Friday, the essence of the 18-month monitoring that will commence on October 1, 2023, is to assess the level of compliance with professional and ethical standards by newspapers, including online ones, being selected for the exercise.
“Among others, the monitoring will be done within the context of the expectation of the Nigerian Media Code of Election Coverage, which spells out the responsibilities expected of journalists and other media professionals at elections. The Media Election Code was endorsed by umbrella media professional bodies and associations, and close to 300 individual media outlets in 2018.
“It enumerates what journalists and media management should do to ensure social responsibility and integrity; equitable access for parties and candidates; media access for disadvantaged groups including women, persons with disability and youths; conflict sensitivity and the avoidance of hate speech.
“The training of the monitors is one of the activities under component 4 (Support to media) of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria-Phase 2 (EUSDGN II) project, being implemented by IPC, along with its partner, the Institute for Media and Society.
“The overall goal of the media component is to “Support the consolidation of democracy in Nigeria with the media (broadcast, print and online media) helping to facilitate the key ingredient of credible elections through engagement and professionalism in coverage and reportage of the electoral processes.”
The specific objective according to the statement is to ensure that, “The Media, including New and Social Media, provides fair, accurate, ethical and inclusive coverage of the Electoral Process.”
The IPC Executive Director, Lanre Arogundade also added the training seeks to achieve the contribution to the credibility of electoral information before, during and after the 2023 election by the Nigerian media.
This he said is against the background of the prevalence of misinformation and disinformation, especially by political actors.