Nigerian journalists share experiences on best practice election reporting ahead of 2015

Sep 25, 2013

Deputy Senate President Hon. Ike Ekweremadu addresses participants at the International Media and Elections Conference. Photo: UNDP Nigeria

Nigeria’s journalists benefitted from a wealth of international experience on election reporting at a Democratic Governance for Development (DGD II) project conference in Abuja in September 2013. The conference, which was attended by over 100 participants from throughout Africa and was opened by the Deputy Senate President Hon. Ike Ekweremadu, critically examined the interconnections between the media and elections towards developing an agenda that seeks to strengthen the role of the media in facilitating a credible electoral process.

The event also examined issues of media engagement with the Electoral Management Body (EMB), voter education, conflict reduction and prevention, ethical reporting and the use of new media technologies in elections. The Conference featured participants from Nigeria, Senegal, Zambia, Tanzania, Togo, Ghana and Kenya, who highlighted case studies on positive and negative use of the media in the electoral process.

As a result, Nigerian journalists established key recommendations for effective reporting in the electoral process. Further, in response to concerns raised by stakeholders at the conference on the inadequate information from INEC on the voter registration process the Commission committed to organizing an experience-sharing conference with State Independent Electoral Commissions to explain the National Register of Voters and the plans for imminent nationwide rollout of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).

Speaking on the conference, DGD II Project Director; Dr. Mourtada Deme said: “The media have a critical agenda setting role to support the integrity and credibility of elections. Not only must they take a lead role in ensuring that citizens are adequately mobilized, but they should also ensure that the entire process is open to public scrutiny. This conference provided an integral opportunity for journalists to share their experiences to ensure best practice reporting for the 2015 elections.”

DGD II is a joint donor funded project managed by UNDP in support of deepening democracy in Nigeria. The project is funded with contributions from the European Commission (EC), the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

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