..calls for strict supervision of citizen journalists
..bags ACSPN’s Award of Excellence
The need for Nigerian media to utilise their professional tools for public interest and serve as an instrument for socioeconomic transformation, has been emphasised.
In other words, Journalists, in order to live up to public expectation, should avoid sensational stories but rather prioritise promoting more salient developmental issues.
These were the submissions of the First Lady of Ondo State, Chief Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, while giving her remarks at the 2022 Maiden Empowerment Series of the Association of Communication Scholars and Practitioners of Nigeria, ACSPN, Imo State chapter, held at the event Hall of the Nigerian Union of journalists, Owerri.
Mrs. Akeredolu, who chaired the occasion, acknowledged the role of the media in setting relevant agenda for public discourse as a powerful force for change in any given society.
Commenting on the theme of the event, “Media: Insecurity, Academics, Economic and General Well-being of Nigerians”; the Ondo First Lady called on media Professionals and scholars to supervise activities of citizen journalists “in order to live above nepotism, bribery of monetary inducement and blackmail”.
She said: ” The media should not be seen to be posing inherent dangers to national security with respect to politics, religion, ethnicity, power and revenue sharing which are crucial to achieving a stable and enduring democracy.
“The surveillance function of the media must be renewed so that members of the public would be regularly informed about looming threats from terrorism, natural calamities such as storms and erupting volcanoes, or criminal attacks”.
The wife of Ondo State governor and Ada Owere 1, also charged female journalists to be at the forefront of advocating the cause of womanhood, using their professional skills; especially the ongoing struggle for the reconsideration of gender bills which were rejected by the national assembly.
” On the health theme, Female journalists must harp on the control of breast and cervical cancer by educating the public on the dangers inherent in attributing cancer ailments to spiritual sources.
” In the case of the fight against breast cancer, I recommend the use of the hashtag #BreastcancerIsNotSpiritualAttack.
“I urged female journalists to step up action by using their knowledge and skills in championing women causes”, she noted.
The First Lady, who bagged an Award of Excellence at the event, further implored media scholars and professionals to consistently
place girl child education on the front burner of public discourse, if the age-long stereotypical prejudices on women must be removed.
Earlier in her address, the State Chairman of ACSPN, Dr. (Mrs) Adelina Nkwam-Uwaoma, had noted that the association was committed to building the capacity of members to make people conscious of happenings in Nigeria.
She commended the Ondo First Lady for being media friendly, describing her as a unique lover of people who committed time to fighting cancer scourge in Nigeria.
The award bestowed on Her Excellency was in recognition of her person and contribution to humanity.
By Mary Agidi
Special Assistant to the Governor on Media
(Office of the First Lady)
March 22, 2022.