Journalists urged to engage politicians, citizens on issue-based discourse

Media practitioners have been asked to engage politicians and electorates on issue-based discourse in the coming Ekiti and Osun States governorship elections scheduled for July 14 and Sept. 22 respectively.

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They are also being urged to display a high sense of professionalism in the discharge of their duties as they cover the polls in both Western Nigerian states.

A media professional, Mr Ayo Makinde, gave the charge in Akure, Ondo State in Cross-Learning Session organised for selected journalists in both states by the Partnership to Engage Learn and Reform and the UK Department for International Development (UK-DFID).

Makinde, who is the Chief Operating Officer of Gold apple Media, enjoined journalists to endeavour to set agenda for politicians with a view to putting them on their toes, making them adhere to their commitments and tasking them to fulfilling their campaign promises.

The resource person charged media practitioners to embrace good practices in the coverage of the elections and give priority to the security of lives and properties.

He also advised them to resist the urge to allow gratifications to influence the objectivity of their reportage or slant of their stories.

On his part, the Partnership Facilitator, Lagos Regional Hub, Mr Kayode Iyalla said the workshop was to update the knowledge of the participants on election coverage.

He urged the participants to use their varying platforms to educate voters, especially the youths, on the need to participate in the elections, to chose wisely, to resist money-for-vote syndrome and shun violence.

In her contribution, the Regional Officer of the UK-DFID, Mrs Bisi Oghogho admonished journalists to always set agenda for politicians.

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Oghogho enjoined the participants to share the learning of good election engagement practices that had worked and ensured its uptake and adaptation in the larger society.

According to her, the objective of the Cross- Learning Session is to re-tool strategies for engaging politicians and electorates for the good of citizens towards the forthcoming elections.

“It is also intended to ensuring partnership among the media practitioners in performing their professional roles before, during and after the forthcoming elections,” she said.

From Adeyinka Aremu, Akure

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