IPC Lagos Trains Monitors for Media Coverage of the Electoral Processes and the 2019 Elections

Lanre Arogundade, Executive Director,  International Press centre
Lanre Arogundade, Executive Director,
International Press centre

The International Press Centre (IPC) Lagos has conducted a week-long training programme for media monitors and other project personnel to implement its project on the monitoring of media performance in the coverage of the electoral processes ahead of the 2019 elections. The monitoring exercise will be both qualitative and quantitative in nature.

The training which took place from May 9 to 11, 2018 was meant to equip the monitors to carry out the exercise which will last for 24 months and  cover  10 Nigerian national/regional newspapers and two online media.

It was carried out by the duo of Mr. Edetaen Ojo, Media Rights Agenda’s (MRA) Executive Director and Ridwan Sulaimon, MRA’s Programme manager for Freedom of Information while, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, IPC’s Executive Director gave the welcome remarks as well as laid out the key issues to be monitored.

The first day of the monitoring delved into the theoretical foundation of media monitoring and explored several topics including Overview of Media Monitoring – Methodology, Objectives, Context, Scope, and Duration; Issues to be Monitored; Media to be Monitored and their Characteristics; Type of Content to be Monitored etc.

The second day continued with the theoretical foundation exploring topics that included Monitoring Codes and their Importance in Media Monitoring; Designing and Developing Codes for the Monitoring Exercise;; and Media Monitoring Forms and their Importance in the Exercise. It also went into the practical aspects of the monitoring with Sulaimon taking participants through the nitty gritty of  gathering the different data needed to be analysed for the exercise.

The third and final day reviewed the first two days and also explored the structure of the project and the procedure to be adopted in the monitoring exercise reporting including filing of monitoring reports, analysis of the data, collation of reports and the structure of project reports. Other important aspects of the monitoring  training also treated on the third day included  entering of data from monitoring exercise into database; running standardized queries; writing/editing of periodic reports of findings; and production of tables, graphs and charts.

The third day was also devoted to more practical exercises while issues that were not initially clear from the theoretical aspects were cleared. The practical exercises also provided the monitors with real hands-on monitoring as well as launched them into the project.

The media monitoring activity aims at providing scientific and evidence-backed information on media performance in the coverage of the electoral processes and the 2019 elections.

The outcome is planned to be used to engage journalists and media gate keepers at quarterly media round-table on the need to adhere to professional and ethical standards in the coverage of the electoral process and elections while giving prominence to the issues of  citizens, women, youths, and Persons Living with Disabilities (PWDs), among others.

The exercise will also incorporate the documentation of electoral (campaign) promises of presidential candidates of the political parties in the 2019 elections.

IPC Lagos is implementing the exercise under Component 4b of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) project.