Practitioners urged to embrace ethical journalism
Journalists have been called upon to uphold the highest standard of ethics as they occupy a critical segment for the growth and development of the country.
Addressing dignitaries at the 8th edition of the science media awards organised by the Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) in Lagos at the weekend, Editor of The Conversation Africa, Ms Caroline Southey, said every journalist must embrace the fundamentals of development journalism and eschew misinformation at all time.
Southey who presented a paper titled “Captivating science reporting in the 21st century” at the event, which was held in collaboration with Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, emphasised the need for good and responsible journalism in this digital era which is also characterised by misinformation and disinformation.
“The use of misinformation dates back centuries. What is new is that technology — via search engines and social media platforms — has offered an unprecedented opportunity to spread it in real time and at scale. This has led to the spread of disinformation, which undermines public confidence, damages public trust in news media and the spread of disinformation can have profound effect on the nation’s health and development.
“This is why the work you do as journalists matters so much. It warrants special recognition and you should be proud of the profession you’ve chosen because to be employed as a journalist is a privilege but it also confers a special obligation: to attend to the facts and to pursue the truth”, she said.
Southey added, “The only reason we can lay claim to journalism being a profession is that it opens the door to being able to go to places society wants to shun because they seem too familiar and to reflect what we find truthfully.
Group Managing Director, Vitafoam, Mr. Taiwo Adeniyi said the company is quick to partner organisations that are committed to research and innovations.“ For Vitafoam, at the root of everything we do is innovation. So, we are very quick to partner with organisations that are very innovative in their thinking. Without research and development, we would have not been where we are today as a firm.
When we see an organisation that is rewarding innovation, we are quick at partnering with such. Again, this is one of our corporate social responsibilities by giving back to the society and rewarding those who find it as a point of duty to educate the public. “, Adeniyi added.President of the Nigerian Academy of Science, Prof Mosto Onuoha lauded journalists for their works, especially the ones on science.
He said, “ It is important to write and talk about science, because it is changing everything around us. Public Affairs Secretary of the academy, Prof Olatunde Farombi said three entries each were received from 22 contestants in both the print and electronic media.Mrs. Nkoli Omhoudu from African Independent Television (AIT) emerged winner with her story titled “Rhesus disease: Babies’ silent killer while Mr Isaac Anyaogu won in the print category with the story, “Dying in installment: How lead battery recyclers are poisoning Nigerians”.