The President of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Chris Isiguzo, has advised the media to hold political leaders accountable.
Isiguzo gave the advice during the Special Delegate Conference on Wednesday in Kano.
According to him, one of the cardinal roles of the media was to also hold political leaders accountable through making sure that those elected into political offices understand and practised Good Governance.
The NUJ president, who described the theme of the conference “Conflict -Sensitive Reporting And Nigerian Journalism” as apt, urged Journalists to mediate between and among the contestants through fair reporting and space allocation.
“The theme is also chosen primarily given the fact that 2023 is an election year in the country and the media are central to the survival of our democracy.
“The future of democracy lies in periodic and credible elections, during which mandates are either renewed or new leaders emerge.
“Election is therefore a tool for renewal, restoring and strengthening of the entire democratic process.
“The role of the Media within the system, especially against the background of professional responsibility is germane,” he explained.
He further urged the Journalists to educate citizens about the electoral process and the available choices of candidates, in order for the masses to make informed choices.
According to him, NUJ in it’s efforts to deepen democracy conducted a series of training for Journalists ahead of 2023 election
Isiguzo explained that the union was working with other stakeholders to review the existing Code of Ethics, to reflect the nation’s current realities and to meet International standards.
He said that during the conference, delegates would have time to amend the Constitution of the union.
“The present Constitution came into effect in 2011 and going by its provisions the document should have been amended twice by now.
“Constitutions need to be amended over time to adjust provisions that are inadequate, to respond to new needs, otherwise the text of a constitution cannot reflect professional realities and other needs over time,” he added.
In his remarks, Gov.Abdullahi Ganduje, I urged journalists to be conflict-sensitive about the nation in their reportage.
While urging the media to ensure looking into social responsibility aspect of their practice for national development, he also called for the observance of ethical standard of the profession.
“It is very important at this time that we should use the media for the promotion of peace and stability,” he explained.
The governor decried the misuse of press freedom by Journalists in the area of fake news and advised that they reflect on the true state of the nation.
Different speakers at the occasion commended Ganduje’s effort in maintaining good relationship with the media.
They also called on media practitioners to stick to ethical standards of the profession.