Dataphyte Election Platform, a leading research and media organisation has launched an Election Platform to provide regular information for journalists and stakeholders on 2023 general election.
Mr Joshua Olufemi, founder, Dataphyte at the launch and unveiling of the platform on Thursday in Abuja, said it was a comprehensive repository of election data in Nigeria.
Olufemi said the platform would offer insights and incidence tracking across all the 774 Local Government Areas of the country.
He added that the platform was designed to enable stakeholders access accurate and unbiased election data, insights, and incidence tracking in a timely manner.
“Along with the Election Platform, Dataphyte has also launched a Handbook of Data-driven Election Reporting, a comprehensive guide for journalists on best practices for data-driven election reporting.
“The handbook contains carefully curated materials from Dataphyte’s extensive data-driven elections coverage.The platform can be accessed at: elections. dataphyte.com.
“The Handbook of Data-driven Reporting will also be made available on the platform for Journalists, providing a unique resource to support accurate reporting in the upcoming 2023 elections,” Olufemi said.
He emphasised the importance of election data, saying that the entire election process from planning to implementation involved data.
This, he said, included data on voters, the number of people registered, those who had their PVCs, election results, and the number of polling units.
“So, as a media organisation, we decided to innovate around this to enable stakeholders experience election data and reporting differently in the 2023 general elections slated to commence on Feb. 25,” he said.
Speaking at the event, Dr Tobi Oluwatola, the Executive Director, Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) commended Dataphyte for the innovation.
He said the innovation was a critical step toward ensuring that journalists, election observers, and other stakeholders, as well as the general public, could access up-to-date, accurate, and unbiased election data.
He added that his organisation looked forward to collaborating with Dataphyte in any way it could to ensure that the intervention goes further and was used and appreciated by as many stakeholders as possible.
Oluwatola said that elections were still being held in an information age where citizens had platforms to share opinions and information at a rate never before witnessed in human history.
This, he said, brought along with it many positive changes that enhanced rights and citizens ability to make informed decisions.
“However, on the flip side we are conducting elections in an age where information disorder abounds which could pose a threat to the fabric of trust needed to conduct these elections,” he said.
Oluwatola said that although information disorder, misinformation, disinformation and malinformation had been in the country for long, there was need to tread with caution with the advent of technology and the internet.
“The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) estimates that there are almost 150 million internet users in Nigeria.
“Active social media users, excluding Whatsapp, is estimated at approximately 32 million as of January 2022. Facebook 26.1million.
“Youtube 32.9m, Instagram 9.05m, LinkedIn 6.3m, Snapchat 9.5m, and Twitter 325k, based on data compiled by data reportal using the official advertising pages of the various companies,” he said.
He added that compared with the rest of the world, the average Nigerian social media user spent the most time on social media: about 4.2 hours.
This, Olowatola added made such persons susceptible to the popular views on the platforms regardless of the veracity or credibility of sources.
He said it was therefore, commendable that Dataphyte had taken the lead in providing a platform that could provide the citizenry with factual, credible and unbiased information to ensure that everyone was rightly informed on the 2023 general election.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the CJID is a non governmental organisation founded in 2014.
The centre had been a leader in investigative journalism, innovation, open data, verification, promotion of journalists’ welfare and safety, elections and the freedom of information and expression.
It supports and enables media the landscape to advance the values of democracy, advocate for freedom of information and expression and digital rights.(NAN)