THE Head of Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos, Abigail Ogwezzy says Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Media practitioners and journalists must collaborate and cooperate to promote and enhance good governance and accountability in Nigeria.
“For media and CSOs, we see ourselves as competitors which is bad for the pursuit of good governance and accountability,” Ogwezzy, a Professor of Mass Communication and Development Communication said in Abuja on Wednesday at a one-day roundtable meeting for media and civil society organisations.
She spoke on “Emerging trends in the collaborative effort between the media and civil society in fostering social justice and accountability in the society.
According to her, the media and the CSOs have similar objectives of promoting good governance and transparency but have poor collaborations and cooperation as well as knowledge of each other.
Both the CSOs and the media, Ogwezzy stressed must come together, understand themselves and drop the mutual suspicion if they must make desired impacts in good governance and accountability.
“We have poor collaboration and cooperation and poor knowledge of each group and with this, we won’t be able to deepen good governance and accountability,’ she said
“There is a need to build a relationship, otherwise mutual suspicion will continue, people suspect each other because they don’t know each other.”
Bad governance and poor management of resources were the reasons many Africans flee abroad in search of greener pasture, Ogwezzy remarked, “people must put their feet down to make their country work because, with bad governance, nothing works,” she added.
She emphasized improved collaboration and cooperation between the CSOs and the media for them to achieve their objectives.
Engaging communications experts and designing the right type of communication strategies to every aspect of their work, she explained are keys to achieving the goals of CSOs.
She commended the management of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) for organizing the roundtable
In his opening remarks, Executive Director of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), Dayo Aiyetan said the roundtable was put together to ease the tension and mutual suspicion between the media and the CSOs.
“Our goals are the same−accountability and good governance. We want to find a way to work together,” Aiyetan said.
“We hope that this can blossom into some bigger relationship.”
He urged participants to take advantage of the roundtable to establish a relationship and build a network, saying “part of the things we take away from meetings like this is the network that it affords.”
The ICIR boss commended participants from Ghana, noting that the whole idea was to learn from what works in Ghana in terms of collaboration between the CSOs and the media.
“The whole idea about the project is that we want to explain certain things to them about Nigerian experience because Ghana experience is different from Nigerian experience,” he explained.
The roundtable which attracted 18 journalists and 11 CSOs from Nigeria and Ghana was organized by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) and funded by the Ford Foundation.