By Diana Omueza
The US Institute of Peace (USIP) on Tuesday in Abuja, urged the media to ensure thoroughness and due diligence in their reportage of the 2023 general elections.
USIP’S Interim Country Manager, Dr Chris Kwaja, said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the public relied largely on the media for credible information about the polls.
Kwaja said that it was the duty of journalists to conduct due diligence on news sources and contents before publication.
”The information we push out to the public can incite violence, it can also mar the electoral process.
”The media should be prepared to portray the truth and counter narratives capable of undermining the electoral processes.
”So the media should carry out due diligence, balance their reports and ensure that contents are not harmful to the society,” he said.
He further urged the media not to forget their critical roles in the electoral process, saying that they should mobilize, educate and correctly inform the citizenry.
”It is also expected that as a cornerstone democracy institution, the media should moderate political discourse and direct the path for peaceful engagements.
”Journalists should not allow themselves to be used as tools to cause division or incite violence within the system,” he said.
Kwaja said that the elections had saddled the media with the responsibility of promoting social cohesion and discipline among politicians and Nigerians generally.(NAN)