2023 Elections: Don calls for reforms on journalism practice

Prof. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), a Principal Partner with Temitope Chambers, Ibadan, has called for reforms on journalism practice ahead of the 2023 General Elections.

Fagbemi who was represented by Prof. Wahab Egbewole, (SAN), made the call at the 2022 Press Week of the Correspondents Chapel, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kwara State Council, on Wednesday in Ilorin.

He said it had become imperative to consistently “watch the watchdog” so that the goal designed for the profession would be achieved.

The legal practitioner added that it was important for journalists to leverage on technology, as the social media had given room for the bastardisation of the ethics of journalism.

“Journalists are regarded as watchdogs, hence their role in electioneering process cannot be underestimated.

“We need to draw attention of stakeholders to what journalists should be doing to set agenda for the 2023 General Election.

“There is need for the restructuring of journalism practice in Nigeria because, the media needs to report “what happens, the way it happens”, and not what the news maker wants to be reported.

“We also need to leverage on technology because as journalists, they are working well, but other users of social media platforms are encroaching and desecrating the space,” Fagbemi said.

”There is need for training and retraining of journalists for continuous learning.

“The society is dynamic, and in a changing world, we cannot afford to be static in our works, operations and thinking,” he said.

Fagbemi added that it was also important that journalists separated themselves from primordial sentiments beclouding the country such as ethnic and religious believes and extremism.

“Journalists should also stress the need for maintaining impartiality, independence and balance,” he added.

The don cited the recently concluded primary elections, where he alleged that journalists were only the mouthpiece of politicians, and were only reporting what they were asked to report.

“We need to be able to draw the line between politicking and journalism, because we are all political animals,” Fagbemi added. (NAN)