How to improve reporting of corruption by the media
By Seye Joseph
Suggestions for improved reporting of corruption in the country by the media have been offered by participants at the annual media workshop on anti-Corruption organised by United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime supported by European Union
At the end of the workshop that had 33 participants in attendance, comprising 11 Anti-Corruption Agencies (ACAs), 22 journalists and four resource persons, it was ¬†however observed that while the Nigerian media is getting more involved in the anti-corruption crusade, the campaign is still threatened.
The participants ¬†mentioned that sensationalising corruption news, fake news and information being disseminated on social media, inadequate flow of information from the ACAs to the media and as well as the media not giving adequate attention to anti corruption as major challenges hindering effective reportage on corruption.
Participants therefore recommended the followings as panaceas to for effective reporting of corruption in the country.
That media houses should establish Anti-Corruption desks and call on UNODC and ACAs to factor out ¬† ¬† ¬†support to encourage them in achieving this objective.
- Media houses should follow up on anti-corruption stories to their logical conclusions.
- The media should explore the use of infographics in telling corruption stories.
- The media and ACAs should collaborate with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to inform and educate the public on corruption issues.
- Journalists should report evidence-based issues on corruption, maintain their integrity and credibility by checking their facts.
- In view of the huge cost of corruption to the nation, the media, as the watchdog of the society were enjoined to help set agenda in intensifying anticorruption campaign.
- Participants canvassed for the establishment of specialized courts to handle corruption cases.
- There’s need for journalists to be sensitive when reporting corruption issues in order not to glamourise crime.
- There is the need to avoid sensationalism in reporting anti corruption news while law enforcement agencies are also urged to avoid media trials of suspects.
- The media and ACAs should see themselves as advocates and partners in the fight against corruption.
- Participants urged media owners to take the welfare of workers as a critical factor in the work environment.
- Participants commended United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the European Union (EU) for their support to Nigeria in the fight against corruption.