By Mosunmola Ayobami, Kwara
The media practitioners has been urged to uphold professionalism in discharging their day to days activities of news reporting and information dissemination most especially at this period of electioneering in our country.
The call was made by a veteran journalist Mr Femi Mapaderun at one day seminar on “Journalists and Ethics Of Election Coverage and reportage” organised by National Orientation Agency and Nigeria Union Of Journalists Kwara State chapter held at the NUJ Secretariat along Offa Road G.R. A Ilorin yesterday.
According to the guest speaker, Mr Femi Mapaderun a retired Director at National Orientation Agency and present Station manager at Impact Business Radio FM Ibadan said, “There is no doubt that information is an essential component of the development process and to that extent, Nigeria requires a massive dose of information which can only be put together and packaged by the media practitioners. The information must however derive from the people social and cultural values such as to generate perception and attitudes that are conducive to the nation’s efforts at development.
“For the records, let it be made manifestly clear that the 2015 presidential election was won and lost on the social media. In the sense that so much information both truth and false were flying on the social media most especially against the sitting president to the extent that former president Goodluck Jonathan would need the grace of God to win that election.
“And here we are again, facing similar challenges or even in worse dimension. The major contestants are posting so much information and video clips on all social media platforms that one is at a loss as to what to believe. It is that bad, sad to say that our conventional media practitioners are being dragged into this puddle.
“The journalist of my own era, who understudied the likes of Segun Osoba, Areoye Oyebola, Festus Adenaike, Chris Okolie, Sam Amuka did not have it easy as those of present era, but the dictum was that “if you are in doubt, leave out but today the dictum is if you are in doubt, damn all consequences and use” in those days, we also ran after scoops but they were verifiable scoops and not the one that you will prefix with “alleged or allegedly“.
“As media practitioners in this election season you must be able to differentiate between propaganda and truth because you are endowed with a potent instrument for change. You have tremendous energy for qualitative analysis through which you shall be measured by the extent to which you enhance the integration of the society.”
In his earlier welcome address the Kwara State Director Of National Orientation Agency Mr Olusegun Adeyemi caution journalists and general populace about menace of fake news and hate speeches which he said it is assuming dangerous dimensions and history has it that most of the uprisings, tribal wars, religious crises and ethnic clashes Nigeria has experienced came about as result of hate speeches and fake news which journalists and responsible citizens must guide against at every point in time.
The Cheif host of the seminar, Kwara State chairman of NUJ Mr. Abdulwahab Umar expressed his excitement about such collaboration between NUJ and NOA adding that the seminar was crucial to the success of 2019 elections coverage by media practitioners in Nigeria.