Executive Director, Centre for Free Speech, Lagos, Mr. Richard Akinola, has urged journalists to be fair in the reportage of electoral process, especially the governorship and House of Assembly elections coming up on Saturday.
He made the appeal in Lagos recently during a public presentation and media stakeholders’ roundtable on monitoring report on coverage of 2019 electoral process, put together by the International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos in partnership with the European Union (EU).
He condemned a situation where media organisations concentrate on the coverage of only the big political parties, leaving the smaller ones to suffer. He used the monitoring of reporting of the 2019 electoral process to illustrate his point, saying, “The outcome of the monitoring of 12 print and online newspapers on the coverage of electoral issues for the period of September to December 2018, indicated that one noticeable feature that is common is the concentration of reports on the ‘big parties’, to the detriment of the ‘smaller parties’.”
And this is emblematic of the mindset of the Nigerian media, whereby the new or the not so prominent political parties are given scant mention.
“This raises a very crucial point. As a matter of fact, if the report had covered the electronic media, the result of the research would have been worse, because of the level of commercialisation of news in that sector.”