Active Search Results Scholars, others urge Journalists, bloggers to use platforms to fight a course

Scholars, others urge Journalists, bloggers to use platforms to fight a course


By Okechukwu Onuegbu

Citizen Journalists and conventional media practitioners in Anambra State have been charged to utilise platforms in advocating for peace and fighting a just course for the populace.

This was the outcome of a day maiden edition of Bloggers summit, a programme held in Awka, the Anambra State capital by the State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in partnership with Life International Hospital, Awka.

Among the stakeholders, who spoke at the power packed programme were traditional institutions, leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the religious, communication scholars and over three bloggers, social media influencers and professional Journalists.

Speakers at the programme observed that disseminating unverified information could lead to crisis and implored the Journalists working on social media, new media and traditional media join in fighting the war against fake news, misinformation and others. 

Speaking on the theme of the programme, Managing Information Crises in the Era of Citizen Journalism, Dr Chinelo Ude-Akpeh of the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) Television College, Rayfield Jos, Plateau State, advocated constant training for journalists to keep them at par with modern technologies, innovations, ethics and professionalism in the field. 

Ude-Akpeh said, "In the same manner, the scope of the spread of such information from citizen journalists is limited to the few audience who are acquainted with the news makers as such citizen journalists naturally have limited listeners or audience. Citizen journalism does not enjoy high confidence and reliability from the audience due to the effects of fake news. A majority of reasonable people struggle to believe most news from citizen journalists.

"Every human being on earth from all walks of life needs information to survive or make progress. One adage says that one will be deformed if ill-informed or misinformed. The government needs information to rule the citizens well.

As important as information is to all and sundry, however, the way the information is managed is equally important because poor information management may lead to danger and might cause more harm than good.

"The need for good information management has become exigent when one considers the danger of misinformation especially during crises situations. It reveals that poor management of information is detrimental to individuals and society at large. It is therefore expedient for citizens to be aware of the dangers associated with information mismanagement to enable them to take informed decisions at any point in time regarding their information dissemination tendencies."

Also speaking, the royal father of the day and Traditional Ruler of Umunya, Oyi Local Government Area, Igwe Kris Onyekwuluje, stressed that proper management of information helps to promote good course, set agenda for the society and engender overall development.

"Always verify information before reporting. We must use social media to communicate information that will build the system rather than destroying the system. We must always try to verify and process every information at disposal before publishing. I want to appeal to our youths to please stop destroying their lives with crystal methamphitamine, Mkpulummili’ 

"This drugs can only destroy your lives and your future. You keep destroying your future with the intake and abuse of this killer drug. Today many are seen roaming the streets mad, some in rehabilitation centres while some even dead. Too bad a situation!. For your own good and that of your family, please stop. I am equally appealing to the consciences of those selling the drugs to retrace their steps," the monarch beckoned.

On his part, the National Vice President of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Ichie Damian Okeke-Ogene, praised the media for their various efforts to change the society for good, and urged them not to relent as it would help to usher in youth to takeover.

 “If things continue like this, that means time may come when people would even go and exhume a buried corpse to come and contest election in this country. They keep saying that youths are the leaders of tomorrow; when will that tomorrow ever come? You must use your pen to disengage them, because we don’t have the arms to do so, but you have your pens. Pen is mightier than sword.

" I like the way you criticize, even though there may few junks among. Always try to be objective in your criticisims. Always check and investigate well before publishing. Bloggers are usually freer because they and their addresses are not usually known, unlike the conventional media whom are known and can be sued or sanctioned at anytime," he maintained.

Contributing, the co-sponsor of the event and founder of Life International Hospital, Professor Joseph Ikechebelu, appealed to the media to assist in disseminating information about assisted reproductive technology, which according to him, had come to wipe the tears of couples.

Ikechebelu, who is also the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, hinted that assisted reproductive system, made it possible for all women to bear children irrespective of their age, social or health condition, adding that it could be used to select sex of the babies, among other benefits.

"We are in Anambra State to help our women to conceive and become mothers. With assisted reproductive technology, women can still have children despite their age, health or social condition. When you try conventional ways and failed, you can go for assisted conception. You don’t need to send a woman away for not having a child or for not having a male or female child. God gave us the knowledge to turn your tears to joy," he noted. 

The Anambra State Commissioner for Police, Mr Echeng Echeng, while addressing the bloggers, stressed the need for the media not to be in a hurry to publish story when there are relevant authorities involve in their stories to hear from for balancing and objectivity.

Echeng, represented by the command’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Tochukwu Ikenga, also appealed to bloggers not to use journalism for activism.

“Activists hide under social media to create problem in the society. When we are pushing out information on any crime, we must involve the agency in charge to have clearer information about the situation. There is a very big difference between social media and social activism,” he retorted.

In a goodwill message, the Director,, Department of State Service (DSS), Anambra state, Mr David Enoch Pawa, represented by his Deputy, Mr John Ibienu, urged people peddling false information and fake news to refrain, as they could be hold accountable if caught.

Earlier, the Chairman, NUJ, Anambra State Council, Comrade Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, stressed the need for journalists and bloggers to always hold unto objectivity while casting headlines, even as he explained that the training was organised to integrate, train and empower online or citizen journalists on the nitty-gritty of journalism profession with a view to make them more professionals and reliable.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post