As the Gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections holds on Saturday, 18th March, 2023, the International Press Centre (IPC), has urged journalists to adhere to the guidelines contained in the IPC safety and professional advisory, which is aimed at ensuring the safety of journalists in the course of covering and reporting elections.
The Executive Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, said in a statement that the advisory which has been updated after the Presidential elections became imperative in light of the critical role the media plays during electioneering processes and the growing concerns over journalists’ safety during elections.
Mr. Arogundade noted that it is very important for journalists covering the elections to be guided by the existing ethics of professional coverage of the elections as well as to be safety conscious in the discharge of their duties, especially to avoid situations that will put them in harm’s way.
“It is against this background that the advisory has been updated to a better readable and easier downloadable format which is divided into two parts – Safety and Ethics/Professionalism.”
“The advisory is for the purpose of ensuring journalists who are covering the elections are fully equipped with safety tools and precautions to engage with while on the field. The overall goal is to provide guidelines and practical advice for journalists so they may not become victims or targets of harassment or attack”, Arogundade added.
He explained that the advisory also includes statements on the necessity for journalists to remain non-partisan; to maintain integrity as well as being conscious and aware of suspicious movements around them and those suspect they are being followed should immediately alert their newsrooms and other close contacts, among other provisions.
Arogundade also enjoined other stakeholders, especially the security agencies to undertake the performance of their tasks in a civil and responsible manner.