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Obaseki backs press freedom, tasks newsmen on peace, development journalism

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Obaseki. Photo; TWITTER/GOVERNOROBASEKI

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, yesterday, charged journalists to use the power of the pen to ensure peace, unity and development of the country amid the various challenges facing the nation.

He gave the charge on the sidelines of this year’s World Press Freedom Day, marked by the United Nations and other agencies with the theme: Information As A Public Good.

Obaseki said journalists, being the mirror of the society, should endeavor to discharge their duties diligently, upholding the ethics of the profession and providing only reliable, fact-based and accurate information to the public.

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His words: “As we mark the World Press Freedom Day, I urge media practitioners to uphold the ethics of the journalism profession, leverage on the power of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and ensure that they provide members of the public with fact-based, verified and credible information.

“Amid the many challenges currently facing the country, it is pertinent that the media as the watchdog of the society and members of the exalted fourth estate of realm, in the best interest of all Nigerians, use the pen to unite the people, focusing on contents and reportage that fosters unity, peace and development.”

He tasked journalists on framing their reports to promote non-violent resolution of conflicts and other pressing societal issues, noting that such an approach to their duties will drive sustainable development.

“As a government that thrives on transparency and accountability to the people, we will ensure a safe space for journalists to thrive and live up to their constitutional role in a democracy,” the governor reassured.

The UN General Assembly in 1993 proclaimed May 3 each year as World Press Freedom Day, following recommendation adopted at the 26th session of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) General Conference in 1991.

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