Chairman of the Association of Online and Social Media Practitioners of Nigeria, (AMPON), Mr. Wole Arisekola on Saturday advices journalists to be sure of final election result by INEC before reporting news on the forthcoming elections.
While speaking with international reporters who are in Nigeria to monitor the forthcoming presidential election, Wole Arisekola in Lagos said, “Events around the 2015 election are probably some of the most interesting, heated and pulse-raising in the history of Nigeria. There have been plenty of issues to argue about and anxiety everywhere. The elections will come and go but what should be the roles of the media in all of these? Our role should be the how best to announce genuine results in a balanced and fair way in order to allow for peace to reign after it all. Let us the mindful of the important tasks before us. We are the windows to the world and whatever we say always have a lasting effect. There will always be issues, but how we report those issues will go a long way in giving us the Nigeria of our dreams. Let us be unbiased in our views and how we put those news items out to the world. The most important part is that conclusions on news reportage should be based on facts, not the outlook of the reporter. Journalism is about giving citizens information about public affairs that is as accurate as possible.”
Wole Arisekola reminds journalists of the trust people have in them and how unconfirmed reports could further heat up the polity, “We are the overseers of Nigeria’s public broadcasting operations, we should therefore devote more time and attention to complete news and results during and after the election. People trust us with what they hear, we should not betray that trust by setting people against themselves with what we put out to the public”, he appealed.
While thanking Google Nigeria’s efforts at sensitizing journalists on the best way to go about reporting the forthcoming elections, he reiterated some of their appeals at a workshop they had recently.
“Google Nigeria tasked the media on the use of modern data tools for effective reportage, especially of the forthcoming general elections in the country. Mr. Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, Google’s Communications and Public Affairs Manager, has made an appeal at the Google Data Tools for Elections Reporting Workshop held in Lagos that there are various useful tools such as Google Advance Search, Google Trends, social media streams etc could be used in sourcing data. He reminded us about the tools which would help the media to get the picture of what was happening at a particular time at different places and getting it to the public.”