Mr Umo Eno, Governor-Elect, Akwa Ibom State. Credit: Facebook/Aniefiok Macaulay.

Abasifreke Effiong

The Governor-elect, Akwa Ibom state, Mr Umo Eno, has urged journalists in the State to prioritize development journalism and resist the temptation of being used to ridicule their profession.

Mr Eno instituted an annual award in 2022 to promote development journalism practice in the Akwa Ibom State.The award is managed by the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Akwa Ibom State Council.

He said the sacred responsibility of the media to the public and society, particularly, providing information, interpreting events and guiding the citizens to understand what the government is doing requires cooperation between the media and the government.

This was contained in a goodwill message to a- one day get-together/seminar for journalists in Uyo, organised by Zion Chambers and facilitated by the Honourary Special Adviser to the Governor on Judiciary Matters, Mr Ndon Asian, held on Friday 14th April at the Ibom E-library, Uyo.

He said media practitioners in the State are partisan and divided against themselves, calling on media managers to revert to their professional role of mediating between the masses and events than being transmitters of falsehood.

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While acknowledging the role of the media in development, Mr Eno stated that he has been a both victim and beneficiary of bad and good press during his campaigns.

“The sacred place of the media to cooperate with government to propagate and educate the public about government policies, seek for their cooperation, understanding while instructing the citizenry and not blindfolding them under the pretext that society will lead them by the hand and guide them, to say the least places a moral burden on the media.

“Having personally been both a victim of bad and good press recently, where I wondered if indeed certain stories on me were meant for someone else, given the falsehood they propagated, I therefore consider this seminar pertinent. Looking at the quality of speakers and the issues they are to talk handle, it is my earnest desire that journalism would be the better for it at the end of the day.

“The media must very urgently begin to provide leadership by mobilising media managers and resources to play a proactive and leading role in the formulation and implementation of policies to ensure a stable, vibrant and very informed polity.”

Eno represented by the spokesperson of the Umo Eno/Eyakenyi 2023 campaign organisation, Prince Chris Abasi Eyo, said he will partner with the leadership of the media community in the State to restore professionalism in the profession riding on the lever of his ARISE agenda, commended Barr Samuel Ikpo and his Zion Chambers for the sponsoring the seminar.

The event received presentation on “The line between responsible journalism and libel -observing the rules” by Barr Samuel Ikpo, “Good journalism in today’s environment – the necessity for holistic approach and the value of specialisation” by Mr Cletus Ukpong, Assistant Managing Editor at Premium Times.

Mr Anietie Usen, author of Audacious Journalism and the award-winning title, Village Boy, shared his experiences as a journalist and the challenges of nation building.