Forty journalists from Delta, Edo, Rivers, Cross River, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom states in the South South geo-political zone of the country have benefitted from a two-day capacity building workshop on ethical journalism, held in Asaba to enhance their reportage of issues and events in line with professional standard.
The workshop, organized by the Nigerian Press Council (NPC) in collaboration with Lamforttee Resources, has as its theme: ‘Ethical Journalism: An Indispensable Asset for Media Integrity’.
Declaring the workshop open, the Chairman, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Delta State Council, Comrade Michael Ikeogwu commended the Nigerian Press Council for the training which he said would help to enhance the operation and competence of media professionals.
Ikeogwu said, ‘’The theme of the workshop, I must say, is apt, knowing full well the era we are now. The training will make the media professionals to distinguish themselves from those who are trying to hijack the profession.’’
‘’The only thin line between us and those bloggers is the ability to observe the ethics of the profession……when a journalist who has undergone this type of training writes, you can easily differentiate him from the bloggers who do not have the background of journalism,’’ he stated.
The NUJ Chairman, Delta Council urged the participants to take the training serious and make good use of it to enrich their work.
The Acting Executive Secretary, Nigerian Press Council, Mr Victor Egharevba, explained that the essence of the workshop was to sensitize journalists on the need for ethical compliance to earn and maintain integrity.
He warned that putting out news items whose veracity and integrity were not established could erode the trust and credibility of the media.
Egharevba represented by the Director, Research and Documentation of the NPC, Mrs Stella Jibrin said, ‘’The theme of the workshop is considered vital and critical in view of the concern in most cases that the standards of journalism are being ignored by professionals.’’
‘’It will be very sad if the public loses confidence in the integrity of the media…the only institution saddled with the constitutional role of monitoring government and holding government accountable. It is in an attempt to ensure that the media are well guided, to continue to play their role through enhanced professionalism and engaging in ethical best practices that the Nigerian Press Council is providing this capacity intervention as part of its sensitization for journalists,’’ NPC Executive Secretary asserted.
Various media resource persons including Doctor Emmanuel Akpoveta of the Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku, Doctor Greg Ugbo and Doctor Ibe Onoja both of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, and the Deputy National Secretary, Nigeria Union of Journalists, National Secretariat, Abuja, Gbemiga Bamidele made presentations on issues ranging from Code of Ethics: A Tool for Responsible and Objective Reporting; Fake News Versus Media Integrity: The Role of Gatekeepers; Political Violence, National Security and the Nigerian Media: Need for Synergy; and Professionalism and Nigerian Media: A Professional Self Assessment.
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