MEDIA stakeholders have called on bloggers to always ensure credible reportage and understand the dynamics of journalism to work within the ethics of profession.
The call was made during the 2022 Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Bloggers Summit, held at the Godwin Ezeemo International Press Centre, Awka.
The summit, themed ‘Managing Information Crisis in the Era of Citizen Journalism’ was organised by the NUJ, Anambra State Council, in partnership with Life International Hospital, Awka.
The chairman of the event and National Vice President of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene, called on bloggers to always use their pens to confute, criticise and tell the leaders of the country the bitter truth about the affairs and worsening state of the country, as they have always done.
He noted that the people who laid the foundation of the country were all youths then, and wondered why, today, even people above 80 are still desperately struggling to be the president of the country.
He said the bloggers and media practitioners can help to change the narrative by reorienting the youths to take over their country from the old men and bad leaders.
The Keynote Speaker, who is a Senior Lecturer and Head of Department, Research and General Studies, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Jos, Chinelo Ude-Akpeh, advocated the use of discretion and adherence to professional ethics of disseminating information to the public.
Mrs Ude-Akpeh emphasised that the media have the power to make or mar the society, urging bloggers to always keep the record straight and remain truthful in managing citizen journalism.
“Avoid any form of sensationalism as there is a huge discrepancy between journalism and activism.”
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation (ANPC), publishers of National light, Ka O Di Taa and SportslightXTRA, Sir Chuka Nnabuife, expressed that NUJ, Anambra State Council is unique and urged bloggers to use their equipment to speak the truth when reporting and imbibe the ethics of the profession, while adopting Social Responsibility Theory and credibility in trying to satisfy the desire of this age to consume information.
Sir Nnabuife emphasised that one wrong information could ignite crisis.
Former Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C Don Adinuba, said that training and retraining are ways of developing oneself in this profession.
Managing Director, Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS), Mr Chido Obidiegwu urged bloggers, who he described as the fifth estate of the realm to play major roles professionally and objectively.
“Do your job with integrity required for the profession. Make sure your reports are true, fair; promote goodwill in the society and build friendship not enemies.”
Chairman NUJ, Dr Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, described blogging as a very interesting and lucrative venture.
According to him, in as much as blogging is a lucrative venture, bloggers should also see it as a tool for enhancing societal development and reshaping the conscience of the society.
Dr. Odogwu also explained that the 2022 NUJ Bloggers Summit, which is the first of its kind in the state, is aimed at “galvanising the Fifth Estate of the Realm, give them sense of belonging, chart a cause for them, and let them know that there are ethics in this practice, because many of them do not know that there are ethics guiding the practice of jounalism.”
He also warned that any society that ignores bloggers does so at its own peril; and called for the recognition of bloggers in every state because of what he said they have to offer in the development of the society.
“Even if the state or the society fails to recognise us, let us always report things objectively and contribute to the overall development and betterment of our society,” he advised.
Odogwu, who said he was the first person to start blogging in Anambra State, described bloggers as the members of the fifth estate of the realm; and further revealed that there are currently over 600 bloggers in the state today, with over 300 of them in Awka alone.
The royal father of the day, Igwe Chinedum Onyekwuluje of Umunya, emphasised that effective press reporting could only be sustained when facts are reported, urging bloggers to always post rich, informative and growth oriented content, and endeavor to be on the right track always.
Igwe Onyekwuluje used the forum to also appeal to the youths to stop destroying their lives with crystal methamphetamine (mkpulummili), even as he appealed to the consciences of those selling the drugs to retrace their steps.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Admin), Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof. Joseph Ikechebele, elucidated the importance of In-Vitro- Fertilization (IVF) and its relevance to tackling infertility problems witnessed in many homes.
He gave some solutions to infertility problems through corrective measures anchored on IVF, the efficacy of surrogacy technology, sex selection and other technologies that aid assisted reproduction.
Anambra State Commissioner of Police, CP Echeng Eworo Echeng, who was represented by Tochukwu Ikenga, decried bloggers poor adherence to journalism ethics. He harped on the dangers of poor and unethical journalistic practice deployed by citizen journalists, explaining that they constitute problems to a greater extent to the society.
Coordinator Anambra Bloggers Publisher, Bamidele Ajayi, said that “We are proud to be bloggers, but we all have to be responsible bloggers, because misinformation will affect the interest of public.
In a vote of thanks, Mrs Ngozi Obunwaka, Chairman NUJ 2022 Blogger Summit Planning Committee, thanked all that graced the occasion, wishing them journey mercies back to their different destinations.