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Shun breaking news syndrome, INEC cautions journalists

INEC chairman Yakubu

INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission, on Monday, urged media practitioners to avoid landmines and breaking news syndrome, while reporting the 2023 general elections.

During the one-day capacity building for journalists in the South West on Conflict Sensitive Reporting and the 2023 General Elections organised by INEC and the Nigeria Union of Journalists, INEC’s National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, who was represented by INEC Administrative Secretary in Ondo State, Oyetola Oyelami, made this known.

He said, “As the country moves closer to the 2023 general elections, there are obvious landmines that the media must avoid.

“The media must avoid the breaking news syndrome. Some of the mainstream media are gradually gravitating towards online journalism with the attendant quest for breaking news, which is sometimes not properly verified and processed.

“The media must be circumspect in casting headlines and the thirst for sensational headlines.

“Sometimes, people look at the headlines and conclude without looking at the body of the report.

“The media must find the right balance in casting headlines. The media must avoid deliberate falsehood aimed at drawing traffic to sites.

“Deliberate falsehood aimed at drawing traffic to particular sites is a huge challenge in strategic communication.”

In his remarks, Vanguard reported that the National President of the NUJ, Chris Isiguzo, who was represented by the NUJ National Trustee (South-South), Mr Bimbo Oyetunde, commended the commission for providing the opportunity to discuss issues bordering on the 2023 general elections in the country.

He said, “Since the functions of government are clear, in performing these functions, government officials are expected to be honest, responsible, transparent, accountable, efficient in administration and services delivery.”

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