One of Nigeria’s respected female journalists, multimedia strategist and broadcast executive, Eugenia Abu has urged ECOWAS journalists just completed a two-day workshop on professional reporting of Elections in the ECOWAS region held in Abuja, Nigeria from October 29 thru the 30.
The workshop sponsored by ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC) in partnership With GIZ brought together dozens of journalists from across ECOWAS countries.
Madam Abu as one of the facilitators tutored on some basic fundamentals on becoming a respected and a successful journalist, making specific reference on being objective on what report gathered for the benefit of the public.
She told the media practitioners to considered in their reportage the code in electoral reporting such as balance, objectivity, neutrality, impartiality, fairness in airtime (Radio/TV), and further to avoid receiving gifts and bribe, and distance from power that discredit your neutrality.
Madam Abu also called on journalist to avoid hate speeches in their respective platforms in informing their audiences, adding, “Journalists must always try at all cost to be a professional in covering an election; show respect to the people; don’t disregard their cultural and feelings,” lamented.
Speaking further, the Nigerian Television personality and columnist said, journalist must always collaborate with civil society groups in the coverage of election stories, and give aggrieved persons the chance to voice out their concerns, stressing, “Do not publish abusive or hate speeches on your platform, state owned media should avoid endorsing politicians, private owned media could do if they wish to do so, the only thing you have as a journalist is your integrity,” Mrs. Abu cautioned journalists.
On the issue of using social media, Mrs. Abu said social media networking should be used wisely, and must be blended with professionalism; these platforms can be used to translate messages of successful elections, noting, “It is not a place to jump your content, be a good writer, edit your writings and pictures, timing is very critical if you want yours writings to create an impact to your audience, create program and dialogue during election on your social media page,” the renowned Nigerian journalist and writer concluding warned.