AKURE – Media professionals have been urged to always find out the true nature of events before filing their reports in order not to be found wanting.
The Acting Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Press Council, Mr Nnamdi Njemanze, made the call in Akure on Wednesday.
He spoke during the training of 30 journalists in preparation for the coverage of Ekiti governorship election scheduled for Saturday, June 21.
He urged the journalists not to allow their personal judgment to influence their reportage.
He said the training would go a long way to assist the participants to prepare themselves ahead of 2015 general elections.
Njemanze said the media was pivotal to enduring democracy in the country as it provided invaluable channel of communication between the contestants and the public.
According to him, the media also provides arena for public debate and information for candidates to enable voters to make informed decision when they cast their ballots.
“This training will enhance the capacity of the media to report the Ekiti governorship election and subsequent ones in a fair, objective and balanced manner.
“The essence of the training is also to sensitise participants to the challenges of political reporting and to remind them of the place of ethics in the profession’’, he said.
Njemanze spoke of the need for sustainable democracy in the country and called for freedom of the media for this to be realised.
“The media should have the freedom to cover all election-related issues, including the work of election administrators, alternative policies and platforms.
“The media need to have the freedom to take active role in the process of informing voters by offering them diverse range of views.”
Njemanze advised the participants to be fair, accurate and to balance their reports. “This should be your watch word’’, he stressed.
Mr Muda Ganiyu, one of the resource persons, advised the participants to always insist on what they saw and not what they were told.
Ganiyu urged the participants to put the ethics of the profession first before any other thing in order to take the profession to a greater height.
“I want you to forget ethnicity, religion and socio-political and economic affiliations if you want to be good journalists.
“If we can forget about all these, the sky will be our starting point in journalism’’, he said.
He said journalists had a role to play in tackling corruption headlong by sensitising the public on the effect of corruption on the economy.
The Nigerian Press Council, in partnership with Diamond Publications Limited, organised the training for the journalists in preparation for coverage of the governorship election in Ekiti on June 21. (NAN)