NUJ Revising Code of Ethics, to Appoint Ombudsman for Nigerian Media
The Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, is already concluding its work on the revised ‘Code of Ethics’ for journalists in the country.
It will be out as soon as some key stakeholders put the necessary finishing touches to it, according to Mr. Chris Isiguzo.
Isiguzo, the National President of the NUJ, made this known at a ‘Digital Journalism and Fact-Checking Workshop’ for journalists in Rivers State.
The event was sponsored by the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, and attracted journalists from various media outfits in the state.
The workshop, themed: Imperatives of Digital News Verification for 2023 Elections,” held in Port Harcourt, was facilitated by the image Merchants Promotion (IMPR), Limited, the publisher of PRNigeria, in collaboration with the NUJ.
While emphasizing that the Nigerian media must put in place a framework for self-regulation, Mr. Isiguzo said their NUJ is championing the formulation of a Bill of Rights for media practitioners, together with the establishment of an Ombudsman to regulate the practice of journalism in the country.
“Appointing a Press Ombudsman is one efficient to help secure the respect and freedom of the Nigerian press.
“We also believe that the Ombudsman would help deliver satisfactory, speedy, and accessible remedies to many of the complaints against our journalists and media organisations,” he said.
Ahead of the 2023 polls and proliferation of fake news, the NUJ boss also called for the adoption of ‘Global Ethics Charter for Journalists’ by media professionals.
“While there is nothing like ethics and morality in the social media, and by implications in the general information disorder we find ourselves in, however it is proper to encourage accountability in the mainstream media and in whatever we do as media professionals,” he said.
Isiguzo said that for Nigerian journalists to assist in making the 2023 polls peaceful, they must promote and adhere to high ethical standards in their reportage while also ensuring that they report political issues and events responsibly.
Earlier, Mal. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, the Director General of NITDA, who was represented by Haj. Hadiza Umar, the agency’s spokesperson, restated NITDA’s commitment to the expansion of the digital space, development of journalists’ human capital and the promotion of robust digital-based journalism, that serves the best and wider interest of the nation.
He noted that learning how to do fact-checks will help media professionals carry out due diligence on any information that comes to them while also stemming the tide of fake news.
“There’s no doubting the fact that we are in the digital age where everything is now based on computers and the internet.
“It is of interest to us therefore that our journalists take advantage of the available digital tools to do their jobs better and serve the country better,” said the NITDA Director General.