The US Consulate began a two-day training programme for selected journalists in the South-South in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to hone their skills in election coverage.
The exercise flagged off at Golden Tulip by the Director of Public Affairs, Ms Darcy Zotter, for the CG’s office, saw the best of Joan Mower, Head of International Media Training, Voice of Amaerica.
A professor and former head of MassCom Department of the University of Lagos, Lai Oso, joined Ms Mower to drill the top journalists on getting it right in 2019, mediawise.
The 25 media gurus have already examined basic principles in covering an election;
- Inclusiveness must be promoted (women, poor, rural people; what do they want?)
- Planning election reporting; what the newspaper should be doing
- Three issues of concern worldwide; local news, health, education
- Know the elections laws; hate speech laws, state govs pay the INEC volunteers instead of FG,
- Study voter registration procedures
- Fact-check everything
- Treat polls with caution
- Follow the money
- Be alert on election day; know how the materials are being transported
- Start early; know the candidates, the issues, etc
- Know you are crucial
Groups have been given tasks that would take almost the night, to be presented and defended the next day, Tuesday.
Participants said this is a very crucial empowerment to help combat the kind of elections that are covered in the Niger Delta.