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IPC trains journalists, urges reports on public office holders’ accountability

The International Press Centre has urged journalists to advance their reportage on human and developmental issues affecting the country while being safety conscious.

The IPC’s Executive Director, Lanre Arogundade, gave the charge at a one-day capacity-building workshop organised for journalists in Akure, Ondo State.

Mr Arogundade, represented by the centre’s Programme Officer, Melody Akinjiyan, said the country was facing underreported challenges of poverty in the grass-roots and poor investments in human and domestic capital.

He noted that developmental journalism was indispensable to achieving democratic governance, stressing that it was important for media professionals in the country to hold those in political office accountable for their obligations.

He said, “Moreso, it is importance in a developing country like Nigeria, faced with a plethora of underreported challenges including poverty, and poor investments in both human and domestic capital, which disrupt the country’s progress towards achieving development, cannot be over-emphasised.

“Moreover, for the media as a whole, this subject assumes special significance taking into account the coming into being of a new administration that has vowed to ensure various developmental changes as documented in their campaign promises.

“The media through their reportage can help to monitor and hold our leaders accountable towards fulfilling their obligations, by engaging diverse communities and reflecting their perspectives, experiences, and opinions in ways that reverse the dangerous trends towards toxic polarisation and societal fragmentation.’’

In a lecture titled “Approaches to impactful reporting & safety in reporting grassroots development,” a broadcast journalist, Anikeade Funke-Treasure, asked journalists in the country to be conscious of their safety while on the field for their assignment.

Ms Funke-Treasure noted that journalists could face threats, violence and intimidation for exercising their fundamental right to freedom of expression.

Noting that the threats range from murder, kidnapping, hostage-taking, harassment, intimidation, arbitrary detention and torture, she urged journalists to acquit themselves with national and international laws and be private while writing investigative stories to change any narrative.

Delivering his lecture, Chairman, Nigerian Union Journalists in Ondo State, Leke Adegbite, asked media professionals to report more about the plight of rural dwellers who faced numerous challenges as a result of government neglect and abandonment.

Mr Adegbite, who spoke on the “Role of media in making government accountable to the grassroots,” emphasised that journalists being the bridge between the governed and government, should use their skills of writing in holding political office holders accountable.

Peoples Gazette reports that the workshop drew media professionals from both the print, broadcast and online mediums while the 42-page book titled, “A resource manual on impactful reporting and safety conscious journalism,” a publication of IPC was launched at the event.