The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) Secretariat has urged the media to be more professional in their reportage especially on issues relating to budget.
The Director-General of NGF Secretariat, Asishana Okauru, made the call at a two-day training for journalists on “budget tracking and data-driven journalism” on Thursday in Abuja.
Okauru said that although journalism was a very risky job, journalists needed to do proper research to ensure correct information was published for readers to access.
“As journalist you exalt a lot of influence on the public by the role you play in forming narratives and perspectives in the society.
“You report stories and people read those stories. It is important we do this in a faithful manner if we must help our society,” Okauru said.
He said that the training was to empower journalists with the necessary skills regarding budget and how it could be reported more responsibly and comprehensively.
Okauru also urged journalists to help track the money on budgeting for the benefit of the society.
He, however, disclosed that the NGF Secretariat was working with other stakeholders to commence a governor lecture series.
The Editor-in-Chief of Premium Times, Mr Musikilu Mojeed, in his presentation on “the Interface of Accountability, Journalism and Good Governance”, said that it was important that journalists began to look into accountability and good governance and the role they could play.
Mojeed said that part of the responsibilities of journalists was to hold government and officials accountable.
He encouraged the media to consistently carry out investigative journalism, exposing all act of corruption in public and private sectors.
“We should also highlight and celebrate best practices by officials and institutions.
“Solution journalism is a form of investigative journalism where you show examples for people to learn and better the lots of the citizens,” Mojeed said.
He maintained that for Nigeria media to deepen accountability in the country, they must commit more resources to training and re-training of their reporters on investigative journalism.
Mojeed advised the media to push for actions, form alliance with Civil Society Organisations for transparency and accountability on budget implementation across all levels of government.
He also advised that attention should be paid to governance at both State and Local Government, as well as activities at the anti-corruption agencies and the one within the media.
“This is the kind of journalism that will help you leave a legacy for your country,” Mojeed said.
The training, organised by the NGF in collaboration with the Premium Times, was attended by journalists covering the forum in Abuja and selected journalists from other states of the federation.
By Oloniruha Emmanuel,