By Michael Odiah
Ahead of the January 6th 2018 local government election in Delta State, the Chairman, Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC), Barr. Mike Ogbodu has charged journalists on the need to be holistic while carrying out their duties as concerns the electoral process taking cognizance of the peace of the state.
Barr. Ogbodu gave this charge Tuesday, December 19, 2017 in Asaba during the DSIEC/NUJ One Day Media Workshop saying that the role of the media in any successful election across the globe cannot be undermined at any level adding that any wrong information propagated by the media could send wrong signals that are capable of breaching not only the peace of the electoral process but also the peace of the state and in extension the nation at large.
Also speaking at the workshop, the immediate past chairman of the Delta state NUJ Council, Comrade Norbert Chiazor urged journalists to be ethical in the line of duty, taking cognizance of the need to balance being critical and objective as the role of a journalist is to the government and the entire public, adding that the major concern of every journalist is the good of the public and not the interest of any politician.
Comrade Chiazor further said that factual cum critical reportage is best to none in the line of duty, and that while presenting facts, the public should be given room to judge, adding that even in the face of the non-beneficial and unpopular ethical practice as engineered by the political class as against advertorial reportage, every journalist is tasked with the need of the public, the need to sustain the peace of the nation and the need to keep a dream alive.
In his lecture, Dr Emmanuel Biri, a Senior Lecturer from Delta State University Abraka, highlighted series of norms in electoral process which includes, avoiding of physical confrontations, avoiding of inflammatory stories cum false results, avoiding being used as a tool of propaganda or a conveyor of rumors, avoiding being identified with any party in form of custom colors or any sort as it is the first step to taking sides, avoiding being the mouth piece of any politician but the mouth piece of the people amongst others adding that journalists should be fair, and always remember their obligatory duty to social responsibility.
In the same light, another Lecturer, Dr. Festus Prosper Oliseh who spoke at the workshop noted that new media is the fastest and smartest globally and it is crucial to achieving excellent results in electoral processes but evidently needs to curtail its lag as concerns credibility adding that it is at the emergence of the new media that the world has been reduced to a global village in the likes of an atom.