A host of media companies and institutions have endorsed the newly revised Nigerian Media Code of Election Coverage ahead of the general election in the country next year.
The code is aimed at curbing media excesses and ensuring a well-regulated system. It will be launched in Abuja tomorrow as part of the World Congress of the International Press Institute.
According to Lanre Arogundade, director of Nigeria’s International Press Centre (IPC), 80 media outfits have endorsed the code so far. These include broadcasters, newspapers, news websites and representative bodies.
The code has been accepted by the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, the Newspapers Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria, the Nigerian Guild of Editors, the Radio Television And Theatre Arts Workers Union and the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers.
The TV stations that have endorsed the code are Channels Television and African Independence Television (AIT).
Representative bodies giving their backing include the Association of Women Journalists, the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalists, the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalists, the Centre for Information Technology and Development, and the Journalism Clinic and Media Law Centre.
“We are particularly elated at the kind of responses we are getting from many media organisations that have either endorsed or expressed interest in endorsing the code,” Arogundade said.
The aim of the code is to ensure public education, the management of conflict, high standards of professionalism, maximum compliance with regulatory frameworks and deference to the public good and interest. It will also regulate hate speech and the rise of fake news.
Arogundade said the revision, publication and dissemination of the code were being undertaken by the IPC under the EU Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria project, which seeks to build a professional media industry in the country via democratic accountability, credible elections and good governance.
Twenty thousand copies of the code will be produced and distributed to journalists ahead of the election.