July 29, 2021


Africa's Media Giant

COVID-19: Press Council tasks practitioners on ethics, professionalism

Nigerian Press Council (NPC), has called on media organisations and practitioners to adhere to the Code of Ethics to enhance professionalism in the reportage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 Mr David Adeniken, the Acting Executive Secretary of the Council, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja, said the media, including social media, had been populated with fake news.
“Most of these fake, or false news, tend to create a larger than life message, as far as the COVID-19 is concerned. There is so much circulation of misleading information, especially on social media.
“Media organisations and journalists should adhere strictly to the Code of Ethics to enhance professionalism in the conduct of their duties, because the people look up to them for authentic information.
“We, therefore, call on media organisations and practitioners to ensure that information about COVID-19 pandemic are verified and certified authentic before publication.
“However, the council is trying to collaborate with the appropriate stakeholders including Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), to chart a way forward for the industry.
“Also, the council wants to appeal to Nigerian populace to abide by the guidelines provided by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 by observing social distancing, washing of hands, hygiene and regular wearing of face masks.

“However, the council was able to give palliatives to the NUJ, FCT Chapter, as its contribution to recognise them for the work the members are doing, as front line officers, in the fight against the Coronavirus,” he said.

In trying to checkmate fake news and misleading information, Adeniken said the council was currently involved in a daily review of Newspapers.
According to him, after review, a content analysis is carried out to determine where there is violation of the Code of Ethics, adding that it will be published in the council’s quarterly journal.
He further said that the NPC would produce newsletters to inform members of the public, government offices and media houses about its activities and other trends and development in the profession.
“I am bringing quality leadership that would ensure the achievement of the mandate of the council which principally has to do with promoting the professional standard for the Nigerian press among others.”
In addressing complaints from members of the public who were aggrieved about malicious publications, Adeniken said in the absence of the board, the council used Direct Complaints Resolution Mechanism to resolve them.
He, however, did not specify how many of such complaints were resolved in the last one year.
The council boss noted that as a formidable institution that would deliver on its mandate NPC would ensure professionalism as it related to journalism through trainings, workshops and content analysis.
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