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2023: Be careful of politicians’ craftiness– Don warns journalists



2023: Be careful of politicians' craftiness-- Don warns journalists
Media practitioners have been advised to be mindful of politicans’ logic of achieving election victory as they prepare for coverage of 2023 general elections amidst prevalent insecurity.

Delivering a lecture titled, 2023 polls: Effective media coverage amidst insecurity at the 2022 Press Week celebration of the Kwara state council of the NUJ in Ilorin on Thursday, a professor of Mass Communication in the University of Ilorin, Professor Lukman Azeez, said that politicians use every strategy and logic against their political opponents to sell themselves in every election.

“Journalists, media practitioners need to be extra careful of politician’s strategy/logic of attack of their opponents in order to win elections. In the process of selling themselves, politicians might attack and tell falsehood against their opponents. So, it behove on media practitioners to stick to media logic of social responsibility, ethics and values”, he said.

Professor Azeez, who described journalists as vital to success of elections in any egalitarian society, tasked journalists to play professional roles expected of them to avert breach of peace, fact check, objective and neutral in their reportage before, during and after next year’s general elections.

Professor Azeez, who is also the Dean, faculty of Communication and Information Sciences of the University of Ilorin, lamented over proliferation of small arms and light weapons, saying that the development had led to unabated security challenges threatening the lives of journalists particularly during electioneering.

2023: Be careful of politicians' craftiness-- Don warns journalists

The don attributed to a recent report on nation’s security, saying that politicians have armies of thugs, adding that over six million small arms are in the hands of individuals as against 586,600 fire arms of the nation’s security agencies.

The development, he said, had led to cases of prevalent insurgency, kidnapping, armed robbery, political thuggery etc, adding that journalists are endangered with the prevalent security situation.

He also charged the nation’s media practitioners to pursue what he described as peace journalism and more responsible.

“Accuracy and objectivity are key words. Journalists should be responsible for mobilizing information that would better shape the society, encourage tolerance and diversity and not that which would escalate already battered security challenges or lead to war. Media men should uphold ethical principles of journalism.

“Say no to promotion of falsehood but encourage accuracy, be courageous and shun partisanship. Partisanship exposes journalists to danger. So, they should detach themselves from taking sides in every matter. They should promote reliable journalism and be socially responsible. They should say no to incitement against one another. No to rumour. Endeavour to conquer that temptation to be partisan and avoid demonizing language in your news stories.”

Also speaking, chairman, Kwara State Council of NUJ, Comrade Abdul-lateef Ahmed, tasked the electoral umpire and security agencies to prioritize safety of journalists as endangered species.

He advised political class to tread softly and not to play do or die politics to ensure crisis-free poll, adding that security agencies should prioritize safety of journalists and their families during electioneering campaign and election proper.

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