Ebonyi State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Chief Conatus Njoku, has charged Journalists to be guided by the ethics of the profession in the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities.
Njoku who gave the charge to the newly elected executive of the Correspondents’ Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ebonyi State, who led members of the Chapel, on a courtesy call to the Commissioner, in his office in Abakaliki, said Journalists should strive at all times to verify information they got before making it public.
“Without the press, there is no way the activities of government would be reported. We need you in order to serve our people better. The only charge I want to give to the new executive of the Chapel is to ensure that you are guided by the ethics of the profession.
“Many a times, we see people reporting unconfirmed matters. Take for instance, sometimes, we attend meetings, where some issues are discussed, but when you are reading it on newspapers and other media platforms, you will be hearing a different thing. And you will be forced to ask yourself, was it not the meeting you attended and was part of?
“Though, Journalists must not be in a every function, but at least, if you got any information, you need to verify it, so that you do not misrepresent the government or give the public false information,” he said.
The Commissioner, however, commended the members of the Correspondents’ Chapel for their role in projecting the image of the State in a good light, and urged them to keep it up, even as he noted that constructive criticism is welcomed by the government.
“I know most of you and I know what you can do, and I know you are professionals. And you have been projecting the image of the State in a good light. We want this to continue. We also welcome objective criticism, because it will help the government to sit up.”
Mr Njoku while assuring the members of the Chapel of the partnership and cooperation of his Ministry, pointed out that the local government areas and communities in the State were underreported, and urged them to redouble their efforts.
“As per the Ministry, I assure you of our fullest cooperation. I always tell people that the activities of this government in the local government areas and communities are underreported. A situation where it is only the ones that happen in the capital city is captured, I think you should look into it and see how the activities in the local government areas and communities can be covered. This is very important because people want to know what is happening in every part of this State,” the Commissioner concluded.
Earlier, the Chairman of Correspondents’ Chapel, Comrade Nwafor Samson, assured Mr Njoku that the Chapel under his leadership would redouble its cooperation and partnership with the Ministry for the growth and development of Ebonyi State.