With about 15 days to the October 10 governorship election in Ondo State, journalists who will be covering the electoral process have been advised to imbibe a high level of professional conduct in the discharge of their duties.
The International Press Centre, IPC and the Institute for Media and Society, IMS gave the charge during a one-day media stakeholders roundtable put together under the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) Project for about 40 political journalists and editors in Ondo State.
While speaking on the theme ‘Professional, Inclusive and Conflict Sensitive Reporting of the Ondo State Governorship Election”, the Executive Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, represented by the Programme Manager of IPC, Mr. Sanmi Falobi said the thrust of the roundtable was to engage the media in the state on fair, balanced, language-sensitive and conflict-sensitive reporting of the elections.
According to Akin Akingbulu of IMS, the event was aimed at deepening the role of the media in promoting professional and ethical reportage of electoral processes, including conflict sensitivity in media coverage and reportage of the forthcoming polls.
While addressing participants drawn from the broadcast, print and online media, Prof. Tokunbo Adaja from Joseph Ayo Babalola University, urged journalists to embrace and exhibit a high standard of professionalism during the electoral process to earn and sustain public confidence.
On his part, Prof. Ayo Ojebode from the Department of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan advised newsmen to be guided by the media code in professional and ethical coverage of the election as well as ensure that balanced reporting of all political parties is guaranteed for all candidates.
Meanwhile, during the programme, journalists in the state were lauded for their high level of professionalism in the build-up to the governorship election with an admonition that the trend be maintained through the entire electoral process, including the coverage of post-election issues.