NPA, NASPRI urge journalists to uphold national interest

Participants at the training on Thursday

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in partnership with the Nigerian Army School of Public Relations and Information (NASPRI), advised journalists to uphold national interest in their reportage.
They gave the advice in Lagos on Friday at the end of a two-day training programme which took place on Thursday Jan. 22 and Friday, Jan. 23.
Col. John Agim, Commandant of NASPRI, in his presentation, tasked journalists to put national interest first, considering the significant role of the media in nation building.
He said as ``watchdogs of the society’’, the media must remain apolitical in order to play its significant role justly and for the greater interest of the society at large.
“Journalists are regarded as the watchdogs over the three arms of government. This is a huge responsibility for journalists.
“They have the capacity to hold government accountable, forcing them to explain their actions, inactions and decisions, all of which affect the people they represent.
“The media disseminate information that enables the people to know all their options in every area of life, thereby reshaping the minds of the people on critical issues.
“Due to enormous tasks and responsibilities assigned to the media, media practitioners ought to be apolitical with a high sense of what constitute the betterment of the society.
“But we all know that the reality on ground is far from ideal. So, the question is when and why to bypass official sources of information,” he said.
In another paper, Col. Tukur Gusau said that journalists should ensure accurate and balanced reports of events to adequately address challenges in their environment.
Making specific reference to the maritime industry, Gusau suggested a global exchange of maritime data and information to achieve a result oriented reporting in the Nigerian maritime industry.
Mr A.N. Inyaka, a Legal Practitioner, said since information remained vital to development of society, journalists should not be denied access to information that would help them carry out their duties.
He said the Freedom of Information Act would certainly create ways to build accountability in governance.
Similarly, Marce Anyanwu’s presentation emphasised the need and importance of research, investigation and reportorial skills for meaningful reports.