Prepare for upcoming challenges – NUJ charges journalists

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has cautioned journalists nationwide to be prepared for difficulties before the general elections in 2023.

The group also cautioned journalists against trying to violate any professional standards since it wouldn’t be good for the nation.

These statements were delivered by NUJ President Chief Chris Isiguzo on Wednesday in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State, during a one-day training session for journalists that the union organized in conjunction with INEC.

Isiguzo, who was represented by Abimbola Oyetunde, the NUJ national trustee in charge of Zone F, also made a suggestion that the union was prepared to cooperate with INEC to guarantee that the nation’s democracy functions effectively.

The NUJ President underlined that media professionals must uphold the highest standards in their work in order to fulfill their important role in Nigeria’s developing democracy.

Isiguzo continued by saying that during the elections, journalists should be devoted to raising the bar for ethical news reporting.

He counseled journalists to make sure they carry out their professional responsibilities within the parameters of election law and other rules.

He went on to emphasize that media must play crucial roles before, during, and after the elections.

“Media professionals should brace up for the challenges ahead, especially since they are expected to participate in the process of social reconstruction and democratization by providing a positive and participatory forum for the exchange of ideas, democracy, and nation-building. While discharging their duties, journalists should never attempt to deviate from the ethics of the profession because it will not augur well for the nation,” said Isiguzo.

“Since the media play a crucial role in Nigeria’s developing democracy, media practitioners must uphold the highest standards in their work. Through their participation as active partners in the implementation of development processes, the media can play a crucial part in the formation of a nation. They are essential to all input-output processes in every political system because they are true instruments. However, there can be restrictions on the media in this area, such as a poor working environment, widespread poverty, low pay, and a lack of proper training.

He said that journalists should be dedicated to raising the ethical bar for election-related news reporting.

“They must make sure that they carry out their professional responsibilities in compliance with the electoral law and other rules. Professionally, they are required to improve their news judgment as it affects elections and election-related issues,” he stated.

He also added: “The media must always beam their searchlight on the election management body – INEC – to ensure that it is impartial and competent, that it embraces transparency and inclusivity in its composition and mandate in order to discharge its duties effectively”.

INEC’s administrative secretary in Oyo State, Mr Abiodun Onikate-Amosu in his goodwill message said that journalists are expected to have a thorough understanding of issues pertaining to elections.

He added that this will help them convey details to citizens in simple and clear terms aimed at deepening democratic dividends.

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