PRESS STATEMENT FROM A’IBOM PUBLISHERS LEAGUE – The League of Publishers Akwa Ibom State has condemned in very strong terms a recent publication by one of the state based tabloids which labelled Governor Udom Emmanuel an Armed Robber.
In a unanimous decision during an enlarged meeting of the body in Uyo to interact with the Chief Press Secretary, CPS, to the Governor, Mr Ekerette Udoh, the Publishers frowned at what they viewed as the height of rascality in news reportage by some persons who parade themselves as journalists, as they have defiled the nobility of the profession by throwing caution to the wind and violating all the ethics of the profession.
in his remarks at the meeting, Chairman of the League and Publisher of The Nigeria Pulse, Mr Uko Umoh, while welvoming his colleague, commended them for investing their resources in the industry, not only creating jobs but disseminating information and helping to educate the public on government programmes and policies. Mr Umoh who is the Special Assistant to the Governor on Local Media, however frowned at what he said are tasteless reports churned out by some section of the media, with name-calling, smear campaign, blackmail and spreading falsehood as the sole objective. The Chairman charged Publishers to isolate the misguided few who are giving a bad name to their calling and sanitise the system.
Mr Umoh called on publishers to maintain the integrity of the group and never succumb to moneybags who want to hijack the mediums to pursue sinister political goals. While warning that, the League will not condone gross misconduct from any registered member, he urged Publishers to ensure that their reporters and editors are committed to factual reporting, constructive criticism and thorough investigation and verification of their news sources. He commended the CPS for creating time to interface with the Publishers, observing that, such synergy is needful for proper information management in the state.
Responding, Mr Udoh expressed delight at the opportunity of relating with the Publishers describing himself as one of them. The CPS commended the Legue for the great work they have done overtime in the state and noted that, the Press is the most strategic medium through which democracy can be sustained and good governance enthroned.
He however regretted that, a certain strand in the state Press consistently projects Government as a villain and a force for evil rather than a vehicle for advancing the common good. Mr Udoh explained that, Governor Emmanuel is a man of vision with a well articulated programme for industrializing the state and enjoined the Publishers to pursue a paradigm shift and harness their power for nation building.
In their separate contributions, some Publishers bared their minds on the challenges the organization is facing in dealing with both intruders in the industry and information Managers in the state.
While the Publisher of The Radar Newspapers, Otuekong Franklyn Isong called for more open engagement of the media by the officials of Government, he assured that Publishers remained committed to serving society responsibly.
The Publisher of Providence Newspaper, Mrs Lucy Daniel. On her path sued for periodic press briefings from relevant authourities to intimate editors and publishers on the activities of government. She argued that, in the absence of such interaction, rumours become the alternative source of information giving room to falsehood and speculations.
In their contributions, Ephraim Ikpe, Ernest Akpan and Amos Etuk of The Waves, Daily News wire and Towncrier respectively blamed the resurgence rumours on politics and the disconnect between Government and the Publishers and called for a change to bridge the gap.
a motion moved by Mr Ikpe for unreserved condemnation of the lousy publication that branded the Akwa Ibom State Governor, an armed robber was unanimously upheld. The publishers described the publication as malicious, arrogant, disrespectful, unfounded and unpatriotic.
The League Chairman thanked members for turning up for the parley with the CPS and reiterated the willingness of the League to work closely with relevant government agencies to promote the lofty programmes and vision of the administration
By Osundu Ahirika