Chukwudike Ndubeze, Awka
The Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Anambra State Council, has expressed displeasure over perceived neglect of Anambra-based media professionals by Professor Chukwuma Soludo-led administration.
The feelings were expressed at a Media Executives Summit organized by NUJ Anambra State Council with the theme: “Objective Reporting and Unionism in a Digital Era,” held at the NUJ Secretariat, Godwin Ezeemo International Press Centre, Awka, the state capital.
Chairman NUJ Anambra State Council, Comrade Odogwu Emeka Odogwu who spoke at the event, lamented that journalist in the state had not been deemed fit nor recognised for key positions in the state since the advent of Soludo administration.
He said: “Before now, we have been here with Peter Obi and Willie Obiano and now Charles Soludo. We feel we deserve to be given what should belong to us and whatever the Government deserves we give to them. Journalists in the state must not be made to play second fiddle.
“One of the key functions of journalists is being the watchdog of the society. We are exactly going to watch the Government and its dealings in the state.
“Governance is a synergy. We must work for them, and they should work for us.
“Government must recognize and synergize with the media because power is in the pen to move society forward.”
The Chairman who assured that practitioners in the state would exhibit utmost professionalism in the discharge of their duties, reiterated that “journalists in the state are willing to give their maximum support to the administration.”
He called for the appointment of journalists into key positions and committees of the state and urged the Government to show reward for service by confirming Mr. Gabriel Okpalaeze, the most senior staff of Anambra State Broadcasting Service, ABS, as next Managing Director of the state-owned station.
Speaking also, NUJ National President, Comrade Chris Isiguzo, said the media and government are institutional partners struggling to build the society.
He averred that journalists are known for their integrity and had excelled at several leadership positions of trust in governments all over the world.
Even as Isiguzo maintained that purveyors of fake news are not journalists, but personalities deployed by politicians in desperate need of power, he warned practitioners to desist from fake news, noting that such is capable of plunging the state and country into crisis.
Reacting, the Anambra State Governor, Prof. Charles Soludo represented by the Commissioner for Information, Paul Nwosu, noted that journalists are critical partners and stakeholders in the administration and rebuffed claims that his administration neglects the media.
Ikengaonline reports that the summit was aimed at improving partnership and collaboration with media owners and executives in the state to promote professionalism and hitch-free practice reporting in the state.
Personalities who spoke at the event included HRH Igwe Ben Eze of Umueri; former Head, Department of Mass Communication, Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK) Awka, Prof. Chinyere Uzochukwu; and Director, My Child My Care, Mr. Emeka Ejide.
They explored the relevance and challenges of objective reporting in digital era and recommended training and retraining of journalists as veritable means of promoting truth and factual reporting.
Earlier, Special Adviser Media to Mr. Peter Obi, Valentine Obienyem, charged journalists to refrain from being used selfishly by politicians, noting that such could endanger career reputation in the profession.
He also advised the practitioners to adhere to the principles of the profession to ensure objectivity and balancing in their reports.
Other discussants at the event included Professor Stella Okunna; Comrade Victor Agusiobo; and Dr. Henry Duru.