Kaduna – Dr. Mahmud Abubakar, Rector, Kaduna Polytechic, has advised journalists to exercise some restraint while reporting sensitive issues and events with direct bearings on the lives of people.
“The media must strive to always be conscious of its social responsibilities toward building a sound society for all,” Abubakar said in Kaduna, on Monday.
Abubakar gave the advice when members of the the new executive council of the Kaduna State chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), paid him a courtesy visit.
He particularly called for extra caution in the handling of volatile issues, pointing out that the media was “an instrument that can make or mar situations at all times”.
The Rector was reacting to recent reports that border on alleged plans by some unions in the institution to embark on a strike action over salaries and allowances.
“It is very imperative and necessary for media practitioners to weigh the benefits of all news stories before publications or airing same.
“No matter the truthfulness of such stories, since it can cause damage that can takes a longer time and energy to repair, care must be taken to ensure that the right thing is done to help the society.”
He expressed happiness at the NUJ’s suggestion for entrepreneurship skills training for journalists in view of financial challenges faced by newsmen in the state.
According to him, the institution has many areas of partnership with agencies that can train journalists and other members of the society to enhace their opportunties in life.
“We can arrange customized training programmes, short courses on specific courses for journalists; we are ready at any time to enrol them for that,
“All the council needs to do is to come up with specific courses for its members, and we will key in and train them,” he said
Earlier in his address, the newly elected NUJ Chairman, MrGarba Muhammad, had called for amicable resolution to the industrial dispute between the polytechnic’s management and its unions.
He said that both sides must consider the interest of the students, who are always at the receiving end.
“We must always have it at the back of our minds that whenever two elephants fight, only the grass suffers. The grass is innocent and must be protected.”
Muhammad urged the management to partner with the NUJ toward the training and retraining of journalists so that quackery would be minimized. (NAN)