By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has cautioned media practitioners on the negative consequence of spreading false information and unbalanced reportage of government-related issues and others.
He said members of the Fourth Estate of the realm must ensure strict adherence to the fundamental tenets of the profession for posterity sake.
Abiodun gave the advice at the Anniversary Lecture of the Nigeria Television Authority,(NTA12 ) Abeokuta, 40th Celebration, held at its Ogbe office, Abeokuta.
He said, “ethical journalists owe it a duty to ensure the indispensability of the media towards good governance and democracy.”
The Governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Olatokunbo Talabi, noted that the advent of the social media, in the scheme of things has brought a new dimension into the media industry, emphasizing that the myriad of malicious information and misinformation, being peddled online, calls for urgent attention and professionals should come up with best approaches towards addressing these issues.
According to him, “Without doubt, in any democratic society, a free, independent and unfettered press is recognized as the Fourth Estate of the realm, after the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary; and nobody can deny the role of journalism in the birthing of Nigeria’s Independence and even the democracy, we currently enjoy.
“So ethical journalists owe it a duty to ensure the media’s indispensability to good governance and democracy, as enshrined in Chapter 2, Section 22 of the Nigerian constitution, which states that, “the press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media should, at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people”, he submitted.
He enjoined newsmen, teachers, trainers, scholars, regulatory agencies, as well as professional groups, to let national interest be their primary concern, saying, “all of us can be news purveyors, but we must be ethical”, he stated.
Congratulating NTA 12 Abeokuta for witnessing the landmark celebration, Abiodun, pledged his administration’s continued support to the station.
Speaking earlier, the Director-General, NTA Network Services, Mallam Yakubu Mohammed said NTA has been setting the standard in the broadcasting world, which he noted was evident in the pragmatic approach to issues affecting the country.
He maintained that efforts were being deployed to widen the scope so as to satisfy the yearnings of its audience both nationally and internationally.
In her address, General Manager of the station, Mrs. Funmi Wakama said the station had transformed to be a force to reckon with in the broadcasting world through various partnerships with the people of the State.