Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has congratulated the media practitioners in the country on the ocassion of this year’s World Press Freedom Day, but insists that they must make responsible practice their watchword.
The governor noted that the beauty of the celebration of the World Press Freedom Day is that it affords the practitioners the opportunity to do a critical evaluation of their job with a view to correcting all anomalies that militate against what the profession requires of them.
He observed, for instance, that balance, fairness and objectivity which are the hallmarks of media practice have substantially been relegated to the background while hearsay and falsehood have been elevated to the frontburner.
He regretted that the situation is made worse by the coming of the social media with its attendant implications and the huge fake news that emanate there from on daily basis.
Governor Uzodimma said much as the media remain inevitable to the society as a result of the role they play in information dissemination, education and entertainment, practitioners owe it a duty to ensure that such roles are not substituted with reports that are constantly subjected to doubt by the reading, listening and watching public.
He said Nigeria is lucky to have produced great men and women who practised and are still practising the media profession with every sense of responsibility and dignity, and challenged the new entrants into the profession to emulate such persons in their own interest and that of the society.
He said fake news has today become synonymous with media practice and challenged the leaders of the industry to do what is professionally permissible to ensure that the media remain trusted by the public.
Governor Uzodimma congratulated the media practitioners in Nigeria once more for a day like this and wished them the best in their collective effort to make media practice in the country enviable.