Friday, May 04, 2018

Pre-2019: USA to train 100 Nigerian journalists

The United States Mission in the country is gearing up to training some 100 Nigerian journalist in preparation for the 2019 general election, reports ITRealms.

Disclosing this on Thursday in Lagos, the Consul General, Mr. John Bray at the occasion of the 2018 World Press Freedom Day, said the training will be for 100 political reporters and editors.

This training, he also said, has been scheduled in four cities across southern Nigeria, and will be co-facilitated by Voice of America’s Director of International Media Training and a renowned Nigerian journalism professor.

Bray explained that this support was designed to help the media further appreciate their huge responsibility of reporting accurately on elections and electoral processes.

He described democratic societies are not infallible but they are accountable, and the exchange of ideas is the foundation for accountable governance.

“Peaceful and credible elections are essential to Nigeria’s continued economic, political, and social development so I am interested in your discussion today on media and the transparence of the 2019 election,” he said.

Nigeria, he also said, plays a vital role on the world stage and as the largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria’s stability is crucial to the security and economic prosperity of the rest of the continent. 

“Nigeria’s future is full of promise and opportunity,” Mr. Bray declared.

The U.S. government, he reiterated, is dedicated to supporting Nigerians in ensuring that the 2019 elections will be transparent, credible, and peaceful.

He charged media to foster active debate, provide investigative reporting, and serve as a forum to express different point of view.

“When people don’t have the facts, they make them up and that creates unstable environments, rife with rumors, gossip and lies,” he said.

Urging Nigerian journalists, to ensure this doesn’t happen, by providing information, researching, conducting interviews, and then educating the electorate. 

“The people of Nigeria rely on your unbiased and accurate coverage of the campaign season and the elections. That is why your role is so important,” he enthused.

Assuring that on the 2019 election, the U.S. Mission will supports journalists effort toward providing objective and balanced reporting to the Nigerian people. 

The U.S. government, he said, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has assisted Nigeria with strengthening the elections process since 1999. 

“Working with Nigerian and international partners, the U.S. Mission in Nigeria has also engaged diplomatically and publicly to prevent violence and increase accountability, contributing significantly to the goal of free, fair, credible, and peaceful elections in Nigeria,” he assured.

Other speakers at the occasion include former chairman, National Human Rights Commission, Dr. Chidi Odinkalu, Professor Femi Mimiko, Professor of Political Science and Former Vice-Chancellor, Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo State.

Equally special guest at the occasion comprised President Nigeria Guild of Editors, Ms. Funke Egbemode; Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Dr. Qasim Akinreti and Zonal Public Relations Officer, Nigeria Police Zone 2 Command, Superintendent of Police Dolapo Badmus.

Remmy Nweke/ED, Ops

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