By OKUNADE ADEKUNLE
The International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos Nigeria, has released the result of its survey on the performance of media houses in the coverage of the electoral processes in the 2019 elections.
IPC made its findings known on Tuesday during a public presentation/Media stakeholders ‘ roundtable, themed; “Trend in reportage of post 2019 elections issues”, (scorecard for July- September 2019), the Executive Secretary of IPC, Lanre Arogundade said that Blueprint Newspaper top the chart out of twelve media organisations monitored by them.
The selected media monitored by the organisation were nine print media namely The Punch, The Guardian, Daily Sun, Vanguard, ThisDay, Nigerian Tribune, The Nation, Leadership and Daily Trust The three online ones are Blue Print (online version) as well as The Cable (published online only) and the Premium Times (published online only).
IPC said that the focus of the monitoring is to showcase the electoral/governance process, namely: the pre-election/voter registration phase; the electoral campaigns/voting phase and the postelection/governance phase.”
According to IPC, “the monitoring is to fundamentally provide evidence-backed information on state of media performance in the coverage of the electoral processes and the 2019 elections.”
The organisation with strong support from EU-support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria gave the breakdown of the media analysis as follows;
“Out of 4,217 total reports identified as relevant and monitored, 3,710 reports were published as News (at 88%) while 204 of the relevant reports were published as Features at (4.8%). There were 23 Editorials at (0.55%); 98 reports were Opinion articles at (2.32%); 7 reports were Letters to the Editor (0.17%) and 26 were photographs (0.62%).
“Others include 9 reports published as Cartoons (0.2%); 1 as Vox Pops (0.02%) and 138 Interviews making 3.3%. One Video was found relevant within the period, representing 0.02%.
“A total of 233 reports were published on the activities of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) within the period under review.
“Out of this 4,217 reports, Blueprint Newspaper published 715 representing 17 percent, which is the highest, followed by The Sun Newspaper with 409 which is 9.7 percent, then, The Nigerian Tribune and others.”
IPC therefore noted the gaps for the purpose of using the outcome as a tool for continuous engagement with journalists, media managers and media gate keepers on the need to ensure media professionalism.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Rotimi Oyekanmi who also corroborated the position of IPC, further enjoined journalists to do more in focusing on politicians and public office holders by holding accountable to their electoral promises instead concentrating on INEC activities alone.
A discussant at the programme, Tunde Akanni, Senior Lecturer, School of Communication, Lagos State University, LASU, spoke on the topic; ‘Media Analysis as Peace Building’.
Akanni said journalists should give more attention to reporting women in politics so as to encourage female participation.