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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Responsible Journalism, Key to Building a Better Society — Speakers at Anambra Media/Security Summit


By Izunna Okafor, Awka

Journalists in Anambra State have been been urged to always portray the State in a positive light in their reportage and to uphold responsible journalism standards by practicing in concordance with the ethics of the profession.

This formed the focus of discussion at the 2023 Bloggers/Security Summit organized by the Anambra State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, which held at the NUJ Secretariat, Awka, the state capital on Thursday.

Themed “Understanding State Image and Responsiveness in Security Reporting in Contemporary Nigeria: Anambra As a Case Study”, speakers at the Summit, which include heads of security agencies in the state, media executives, media practitioners, top government functionaries among others, and also drew attention to the critical timing of discussion on the theme, given the prevailing security challenges both in Anambra State and across Nigeria.

Speakers at the event stressed the urgent need for collaboration among the media, government officials at all levels, and security agencies, with the primary objective shifting the focus from negative security reports as well as establishing a more secure environment within the state.

The Keynote Speaker at the event and former Director General of the Bureau of Public Procurement, Dr. Emeka Eze, expressed confidence that the Summit’s outcomes would contribute to resolving these pressing issues.

Dr. Eze, represented by Dr. Nelson Omenugha, the Special Adviser to Governor Chukwuma Soludo on Youth Empowerment, called upon media organizations to actively shape a positive image of the state. He noted that Anambra, known for its industrious people, vibrant trade and commerce, academic excellence, and literary prowess, should be presented in a light that reflects these strengths and contributions, other than being portrayed in the negative limelights.

Another speaker, Dr. Kenneth Osayi of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, emphasized the profound influence of journalists in molding public perception and public opinion. He urged journalists to report in a manner that uplifts society, avoiding the creation of fear and insecurity within the state.

Earlier in his address of welcome, the NUJ Anambra State Chairman, Dr. Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, expressed gratitude to the event’s distinguished guests and reiterated the Union’s commitment to collaborating with the state government and relevant stakeholders to enhance the overall quality of life in Anambra; while in her own remarks, the Chairman of NUJ Training and Human Development, Comrade Uche Kalu, said the essence of the Summit was to have a roundtable discussion on how best to mark and promote the image of the State, as well as strengthen the relationship between the media, the security agencies and the government.

On his own part, part, the Chairman of the Occasion and Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Aderemi Adeoye, represented by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in-charge of Finance and Administration, Mr. David Ilayonomon, hailed the NUJ for such initiative, while also noting that the impact of such event in building a better secured and more patriotic society can never be overemphasized. He also reiterated the need for media practitioners to play by the rule and to always confirm the authenticity and consider the impact of every information they dish out to the public.

The summit also featured discussants from various law enforcement agencies in the State, including the Department of State Services (DSS), the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), and the Nigeria Immigration Service, who, in their remarks, provided valuable insights on effective collaboration to ensure a more secure Anambra.

Other dignitaries present at the event included the Managing Director/Editor-in-chief, Angel Network News, Dr. Ifeanyi Obiefuna; the Anambra State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Humphrey Nwafor; the State President of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Comrade Chikwelu Adigwe; the Chairman of Private Security Companies of Nigeria, Anambra State Chapter, Mr. Okon Antai. Together, they emphasized the critical importance of responsible journalism and its role in promoting a safer and more positive Anambra State.

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