The Nigerian Press Council (NPC) has restated its commitment towards ensuring high professional standards in the country, urging media operators to ensure the reflection of nationalism in their reportage.This is contained in a statement on Monday in Abuja, by Mr Francis Nwosu, Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the NPC in commemoration of the 2021 World Press Freedom Day (WPFD).
Nwosu said the theme of this year’s celebration which was “Information as a Public Good” was very apt.He stressed that the NPC considered the theme very vital and critical in view of global challenges occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic.Nwosu emphasised that Information about the virus and efforts by various countries in combating it as well as safety measures had dominated the print, broadcast and social media.According to him, the place of information in sustainable development of nations cannot be under estimated.He said that democratic settings guaranteed freedoms, especially freedom of expression and communication.
The NPC boss maintained that every great information or communication advance in history had been seen in its time as furthering education.He added that such advances also helped in promoting peace and understanding, stressing further that information played central role in conflict and crisis
situations.Nwosu explained that the essence of the day was to raise awareness on the importance of freedom of the press and to remind governments of various countries of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression, as enshrined under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.“Freedom of the press ought to be exercised with utmost high sense of duty, responsibility and professionalism.
Adhering to the Code of Professional ethics is germane to the integrity and ethos of the profession.“Codes of practice of journalism the world over, share common reverence to the elements of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, fairness and balance in the information they purvey.“We must be reminded to be faithful to our ethics and exhibit high sense of professional and social responsibility. As media professionals we must shun unbridledensationalism.“I enjoin the press to use the occasion to self evaluate its duty to the public and continue to hold those in governance accountable while also being socially and ethical responsible and accountable to the public.“The Council will continue to support the press through its efforts at ensuring the sustainability of high professional standards through capacity building programmes and other activities,” Nwosu said.He urged the media to continue with its developmental strives and healing processes to bind Nigerians together in the face of seeming security and political challenges. (NAN)