Adeleye Ajayi, chairman of the Lagos Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has advised journalists on the need to exercise caution in the reporting of political events. He said this was particularly necessary as the country is moving towards another general election. He made the admonition during a public lecture organized by the Council recently. The lecture tagged “Media and 2023 Transition: In Search of Good Leadership” was part of activities marking the 2022 Press Week of the Union at the Combo Hall of Lagos Television, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos. Ajayi, who declared the lecture open said, “This topic is very germane as the 2023 general elections draw near. The media has a major role to play in agenda setting especially as it affects politics.” So, how would the media set the agenda? The NUJ boss said, “The media should know more about the candidates; have knowledge of economics; use available resources to check facts; provide a platform for debate on all sides and reflect the news about the weak, “. He further tasked colleagues to hold government accountable to the people. “As watchdogs of the society, the media must listen to what the politicians are saying and draw a conclusion as to the reality on ground.” the event which attracted people from within the media and outside also had other contributors. For instance, a panel of discussants comprising the academia and media professionals did justice to the issues.
Anthony Kila, a professor of Strategy and Development and Director, Centre for International Advanced and Professional Studies, who was the Guest Lecturer sensitized the audience on quality leadership.
Kila said, “Leadership is key for Nigeria to thrive. A true leader is one that understands the burden of leadership which is primarily concerned with setting the tone of what is acceptable or not in governance. Secondly, leadership is tested by output and such act must cut across all sectors if the nation must achieve its set goals. We need leaders that can understand that fighting scarcity in every industry is the way to fight corruption, “.
He reiterated that for Nigeria to get it right, the media must play its role in ensuring that Nigerians are well informed to make the right choice in a democratic setting.
Members of the panel of discussants were, Yewande Iwoha, General Manager, Raypower FM; Korede Ogunbunmi, General Manager Radio One; and Jide Johnson of the Nigeria Institute of Journalism (NIJ).
It was posited that shared leadership which also involved community leadership was a duty of all Nigerians and must not be left to government alone.
The panel pointed out that in a bid to make Nigeria work and progress, the media must play its roles professionally.
They advised that journalists must be well informed on candidates seeking political offices, in order to ask informed questions that will help Nigerians take informed decisions.
Discussants noted that the media must be at the forefront of the struggle as the hallmark of Journalism is patriotism.