2023: Be guided by professional ethos in your reporting, Varsity Don tells journalists

Mass Communication expert, Professor Adesina Lukuman Azeez, has charged Nigerian journalists to cover and report the impending 2023 general elections in a way that guarantees the security of Nigeria and their safety.
Delivering a lecture at the press week of the Kwara state Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, in Ilorin on Thursday, Professor Adesina, said “they can do this if they are able to commit to and strengthen the ethos of professionalism in the practice of journalism.”
Speaking on the topic “Effective Media Coverage of 2023 Elections Amidst Insecurity: Security and Safety as a Priority for Nigerian Journalists,” Professor Adesina, said individual journalist that wishes to guarantee the security of the nation and his or her safety, must imbibe and demonstrate the professional norms of good journalism which include truthfulness, objectivity, neutrality and detachment.
According to him, “such ethos of professionalism enjoins journalists to avoid the practices of fraternisation with political aspirations of their owners.
“It encourages them to eschew all forms of subjective or biased reporting of political events and issues,” he stated.
Professor Adesina, a teacher in the Faculty of Communication and Information Sciences, University of Ilorin, said though journalists thrive and rejoice on drama and spectacle, as a major news value that forms the basis of their news judgment, “however, when extravagant perspective and drama triumph over the core essentials of journalism, objectivity is downplayed and definitely threatens the security of the nation and safety of journalists.”
He advised journalists to engage in relentless search for facts, and cultivate the nice sense of discrimination essential for distinguishing from rumour or gossip or campaign of calumny that could likely be orchestrated by political parties as the campaign rallies are set in motion.
“To the best of my knowledge, partisanship and all forms of professional ethical vices do violence to the best spirit of journalism as much as it does violence to the nation and journalists,” Professor Adesina noted.
On the need for institutional safety mechanism for journalists, he informed that the House of Representatives, had once shown light in that direction with the intention to criminalise non-payment of salaries, which is a big challenge facing journalists in the country.
“This intention needs to be intensified and broadened to institutionalise a compulsory insurance and reliable pension scheme for journalists.
“This, might enable them to shun all forms of distasteful practice that can endanger the nation as well as their lives,” he added.

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