UN urges balanced reportage of Nigeria’s challenges

By Sulaimon Alamutu, Lagos

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Media professionals have been advised to balance their reportage of challenges in Nigeria with other good stories about the country.

The Director, United Nations Information Centre, Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanga, gave the advice at a webinar organised by UNESCO, US Embassy Abuja and UN Information Centre, to commemorate this year’s World Press Freedom Day.

Although Nigeria is currently faced with serious security challenges,  Kayanga said the Media should adopt what he called “hope and solution journalism” in reporting the development so that Nigerians would not despair about the country.

“Many good stories are happening in Nigeria. It’s not all about killings, banditry. The Media should report things that bring hope to Nigerians,” he said.

Speaking on the theme of the commemoration, ‘Information as public good,’ Kayanga explained that “the media must be given adequate support by the state to perform the its function effectively.”

He also said that the media has a key role to stem the tide of misinformation surrounding the Covid-19 vaccination around the globe.

According to him, Journalism is the main vaccine against the Covid-19 misinformation.

Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali, felicitated the Nigerian Media on the commemoration of this year’s World Press Freedom Day.

The Police boss said; “the policing career and the Media career have a lot of intersections because of the risks involved in both professions.”

While the Police works to keep the country safe, the Media on daily basis strive to keep the citizens informed, and in doing so, they are exposed to a lot of risks.

“Everyday policemen are attacked by criminals, bandits, kidnappers, and those who feel their presence will impede their criminal activities. The same way, Journalists are attacked and harassed. They are also caught in crossfire when covering violence,” he said.

Alkali, therefore, pledged the Police commitment to protect the rights of Journalists, and ensure they practice their trade without any forms of molestation.

He also asked the Nigerian Media to help fight the scourge of fake news, while calling for responsive journalism.

The Police boss was represented at the webinar by the Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba.

 

Mercy Chukwudiebere

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