Speech by Lanre Arogundade, Director of International Press Centre at the public launch and presentation of the Nigerian Media Code of Election Coverage (revised edition 2018) at IPI World Congress

Today’s public launch and presentation of The Nigeria Media Code of
Election Coverage (revised edition 2018) represents a strong statement that good election journalism or good election reporting matters to journalists and media institutions in Nigeria. This statement is made stronger by the fact that this Code has been endorsed by 6 umbrella media professional groups; Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN); Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON); Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ); Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE); Radio Television Theatre and Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU) and Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP); 75 broadcast, print and online media; 15 media support and development groups and two journalism training institutions  – the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) and the International Journalism Institute of Journalism (IIJ) while more endorsements are still expected.
Mr. Richard Young, Deputy Ambassador of EU and ECOWAS.JPG
This statement of commitment is indeed also made stronger by the fact that this presentation is being done before a global media freedom and freedom of expression audience that has been brought together by the International Press Institute (IPI) to discuss why good journalism matters for the purpose of building stronger societies. Through its preamble and statement of broad principles the Code outlines the imperative of professional and ethical reporting of elections as well as the responsibilities of institutional stakeholders, particularly, The Government, Political Parties, The Election management bodies (Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) and Civil Society Organisations and Media Support Groups in creating the enabling environment for such.
 Sections one to five of the code outline guidelines for ensuring equitable access, professionalism and social responsibility, ethical conduct, avoidance of hate speech and incitement, and being conflict
sensitive by journalists and media organisations in reporting elections.
Section 6 provides for monitoring, implementation and enforcement while detailing internal mechanisms for ensuring compliance with code through the institution of Ombudsman, Ethics and Disciplinary Committees, etc. This means that any journalists or media organisation
that violates the code could face sanctions if there is complaint from any quarters including the media itself, the government, the political parties, the civil society, women and youths and the general public.
From left to right: Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman and Mr. John Momoh, President, Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON)

It is therefore necessary to call on all journalists and news mediums in Nigeria to strive to read, digest, understand and implement the provisions of this code. In order to facilitate this, we urge, all media organisations, especially those that have endorsed the Code, to make the fact known in their news mediums, make it available on their websites and social media platforms, prominently display it in their

newsrooms and organise enlightenment or training programs on the Code for which IPC will be willing to assist. IPC on its part will also publish the Code on its websites (www.ipcng.org, www.ndr.org.ng) and
social media platforms. The ultimate goal is that through the credible reporting of the 2019
elections and the electoral processes before and after it, we can all contribute to credible, free and fair and peaceful elections in the country.
IPC thanks all media stakeholders who have contributed to the development of this code through various consultations and meetings while we appreciate IPI for providing a platform for us to launch this
code.
And last but not the least, IPC expresses its gratitude to the European Union for supporting the production and dissemination of this Code through Component 4b: Support to the media of the EU Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) project, being implemented
by IPC with the objective of building a professional media as catalysts of democratic accountability, credible elections and good governance.
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