By Ralph Madugu
As the 2023 general elections draw nearer, journalists, as critical stakeholders in the electoral process, are not resting on their oars towards effective coverage.
It was in line with this that the Plateau State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), organized a 2-day training workshop to sharpen the reportorial skills of members to ensure professional coverage of the General polls.
The training centred on the 2022 Electoral Act and the 2023 General Election, Guidelines on Political Broadcasts, General Elections and National Security, Effective Print Media Election Monitoring, Role of Journalists in Election Coverage and Electoral Offences.
Declaring the event open in Jos, Plateau State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Dan Manjang reminded participants that the media and, by extension, journalists were called members of the Fourth Estate because there was a lot to be done.
He urged them to sharpen their skills and avoid being partisan and appendages to politicians and political parties and give a level playing ground.
He said “The political terrain is changing. We should be able to educate people on the Electoral Act. We should be seen educating people on what they need to do before, during and after the elections.”
He tasked participants to utilize the knowledge gained to ensure professionalism in their reportage of the forthcoming polls.
Earlier in his welcome address, Plateau State Chairman of the NUJ, Mr. Paul Jatau, said that as elections were around the corner, reporters needed to sharpen their skills to avoid the tendencies of inaccurate reporting of events during the elections.
“We believe that as reporters, we should be able to report in manners that would guarantee peace in our society. We should not be the ones to create problems or heighten tension.
“The NUJ thought it necessary to organize this workshop by bringing stakeholders to sharpen skills. We hope that at the end of the trainings, we would be better equipped and more prepared to do our jobs as reporters.”
Good will messages were received from the Plateau State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Oliver Tersoo, State Chairman, Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC), Mr. Fabian Ntung, Plateau State Police Command and the President of the NUJ, Mr. Chris Isuguzo, who was represented by Comrade Ladi Emmanuel.
Participants were drawn from both private and public print and electronic media.