By Oluwatope Lawanson

The International Press Centre (IPC) an NGO, in partnership with the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) have trained 36 female journalists on capacity building ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The training was aimed at equipping them to be change agents in Nigeria’s democratic process.

Mr Lanre Arogundade, Executive Director, IPC, stated this at the opening of a two-day training/workshop held on Monday in Port Harcourt, Rivers.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training is a skill enhancing and capacity building/mentoring session for female journalists which were drawn from South East, South West and South South in the build up to the 2023 general elections.

The workshop is being held as part of activities under Component 4 (Support to media) of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EUSDGN II) project, of which IPC is the lead partner.

Arogundade said the training was designed to further enhance the skills of the participants on professional, impactful, inclusive and public interest reporting of the electoral processes and the 2023 elections

He noted that it was necessary for the media to serve as catalysts of credible elections without which democracy would not be consolidated.

He further added that the actions under the project sought to strengthen the media for fair, accurate, ethical and inclusive coverage of electoral processes in Nigeria.

“The objective is to strengthen the media for fair, accurate, ethical and inclusive reporting of the electoral processes and elections.

“Also, it seeks to position female journalists to be in the frontline for professional, inclusive, conflict sensitive, fact-checked and data driven coverage and reportage,” Arogundade said.

The IPC executive director explained that the European Union through its support for media under EU-SDGNII in the build up to the elections, expected the strengthening of media professionals’ capacity to deal with electoral misinformation/disinformation.

· “This entails enhancement of media platforms’ ability to diversify, deepen the coverage of the electoral process and deliver civic and voter education

“It also includes the improvement of media engagement in promoting women, youths and marginalised groups in politics.”

In her remarks, the President of NAWOJ, Ms Ladi Bala, urged journalists to rise to the occasion of protecting and strengthening Nigeria’s democracy in the build up to the 2023 general elections.

The NAWOJ president said that as the conscience of society, people depended heavIly on the media for the right information to help them understand, make better and more informed opinion and positive contributions toward shaping a better society.

She said that way, the society would be better served based on correct decision making and implementation of enhanced action plan.

Bala noted that with globalisation of the media space through information technology, enhancing the capacity of practitioners, particularly journalists to be in tune with global best practices had become germaine, if the media was to get it right.

According to her, the media as an integral part of society with unique and sensitive roles to play on many fronts for development, will be further enhanced with the available training and retraining of professionals

She, therefore, commended IPC and EU for investing in the development of Nigeria society and media professionals in particular.

She said: “This laudable effort of EU is commendable and a clear testament of its commitment in building a strong and virile media space that will go a long way in strengthening democracy and promote good governance.

“As we move closer to 2023, the critical role of journalists in the conduct and promotion of peaceful electoral processes in Nigeria is key and must not be handled carelessly.” NAN


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