Adejoke Adeleye, Abeokuta
The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has charged media practitioners on professionalism and objectivity in their reportage to rejuvenate the dwindling glory of the noble profession.
Governor Abiodun gave the charges on Tuesday at a lecture organised in Abeokuta, the state capital by the league of veteran journalists, Oyo and Ogun state chapters to mark the 160 years of journalism in Nigeria.
Abiodun reminded the audience which comprised majorly of media practitioners that journalism has gone from analogue to digital while advising that the pen professionals should verify news before publishing it in order not to misinform the public.
He said, “Things have gone from analogue and it has become digital. Today most people don’t really buy newspapers anymore, they prefer reading online news”.
He regretted the fact that “people have taken advantage of that revolution, it has just allowed some people to just write anything they like without verification.”
“Criticism must always be welcome because if you allow yourself to be criticized. When the information that is being disseminated is false and you are not able to stop it real-time, at times it would have damaged the reputation of what is on your toes”, he added.
“I think there is time for some sober reflections to ensure that we find more responsible ways of how we report the news so we can continue to that first realm of democracy that we are meant to be in terms of journalism.”
Speaking on the hate speech bill, Governor Abiodun insisted that the issue of the death penalty is forbidden and uncalled for.
Former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba while delivering a lecture on “Re-inventing the practice of Journalism in Nigeria with emphasis on the influence of the social media”, said as a reliable profession, there is need to produce credible news and snub dissemination of fake news.
Osoba advised media practitioner to be born again in Journalism.
“Apart from radio, television and newspaper, the internet has become a new radial to disseminate information especially through social media, which has turned almost everyone to professionals, “internet journalist”.
Osoba told veterans who were in the audience that “It is important that as veterans you do not only keep abreast of the developments in the field of journalism and that you also play your role as elders you should be by monitoring the activities of other professionals, this will go a long way in repositioning the pen-pushing profession as truly the first estate of the realm in the day system.”
“It is therefore imperative that journalists as professionals should always be on guard against forces that seek to take advantage of the formidable power of the profession for their selfish ends.”
“It has even become more important that the profession that injects itself of partnership, ensure objectivity in its reportage and inculcate investigative journalism if it desires to continue to remain relevant”
To achieve this, he insisted, is to for veterans in the profession to ensure professionalism and unity among professionals and use the profession as a catalyst for continued capital development.