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Experts advocate media regulations ahead of 2019 elections

Ahead of 2019 general elections, experts have called for re-invention of media organisations so they become more credible and serve the best interest of Nigerians.

To achieve this, they advocate enhancement and enforcement of regulation, adequate training and funding that will transform government owned media agencies to become independent public broadcast services.

The stakeholders meeting organized by the Institute for Media and Society (IMS) with support from the European Union focused on strengthening Media Professionalism for 2019 general elections and beyond, improving regulatory environment and the findings of a baseline assessment on the state of broadcast media and engagement of electoral process in the country.

A lead speaker at the event, Professor Umaru Pate of the Faculty of Communication, Bayero University Kano said public broadcasting such as Radio Nigeria should be well funded to play leading role in fulfilling robust social responsibility just as he described news as social commodity, which should not be monetized

He said there was the need for speedy update of broadcasting code and sensitisation of media practitioners.

The Executive Director, Institute of Media and Society, Dr. Akin Akingbulu said the organisation had outlined programmes and activities that will strengthen the media to deliver creditably on their mandate.

The Executive Director, Institute of Media and Society, Dr. Akin Akingbulu
The Executive Director, Institute of Media and Society, Dr. Akin Akingbulu

On the findings and recommendations from the Baseline Assessment on the state of the broadcast media and engagement of the electoral process in Nigeria, the Head of Department, Communication and language Arts, University of Ibadan, Professor Ayo Ojebode pointed that though Radio is still the leading medium through which people source for news, said there was the need for training on different aspect of journalism including social media.

Presenting a paper on the road to 2019: What regulatory environment would be suitable for media practice in Nigeria, the Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda, Mr. Edeatan Ojo went on the memory lane to reflect on levels of hate speech and partisanship in the coverage of the 2015 elections by many media outlets.

The Media Stakeholder’s meeting attracted scholars, journalists, media managers and representative of electoral umpire.

Timothy Bamidele

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