Ex-Shell MD Urges NUJ to Weed Charlatans from its Fold

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Okon Bassey in Uyo

The leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), in the country has been urged to look inwards and weed within its ranks charlatans that have invaded the profession.

Retired managing director of Shell Petroleum, Mr. Samuel Inyang, who made the call at a reception organized by the Akwa Ibom State Council of NUJ in honour of the state Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo said at the moment, the once revered profession has been bastardised by persons who have no business there.

According to him, “Today, the media business has more charlatans than should be. They engage in half-truths or no truth at all, sensational reporting and, sometimes, gutter and yellow journalism.

“An average reader is treated daily to disjointed reports, poor sentences construction, wrong spellings and pronunciations, bad grammar and ill-informed poorly investigated reports. In such cases, society gets thrown into confusion and chaos many times, through the handiwork of undesirable men and women of an otherwise distinguished journalism profession”, he declared.

He noted that before now, the print and broadcast media were sources of truth, knowledge and reference, and practitioners obeyed their codes of ethics.

“I think it is high time the NUJ in the country looked inwards and weed from its ranks those who have in their actions or inactions, brought its once revered name and reputation to mud. A mechanism should be put in place, where those who violate the tenets of the practice are punished to serve as deterrent to others.

“Constant and continuous trainings should be mounted for practising journalists to update their knowledge and be acquainted with global best practices,” he stressed.

However, he paid great tributes to members of the profession saying “The history of Nigeria’s independence and democracy would not be complete without the sacrifices of journalists, who, to my mind, are great nationalists, social crusaders, evangelists and preachers.

“I salute journalists in this country and indeed, the world over, for always standing up to be counted by striving to right the wrongs, correct the ills in the society and set agenda for discourse through their news reportage, analyses, editorials, commentaries, opinions and columns. These have in no small measure provided the peaceful ambience for development in our country.

“Please help build bridges, not walls, in this state and country through truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality and public accountability in your reporting,” he added.

While commending the NUJ for honouring Ekpo, Inyang who is now the managing director of a foremost indigenous contracting firm in the country, Seyang Limited, remarked that the height Ekpo has reached should challenge other members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm, to be committed to their duties and abide by the ethics of the profession in their day-to-day practices.

“By so that the sky will not only be their limits but a starting point in their career successes,” he said.

He saluted the State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel for not only accepting Ekpo as his deputy but for finding him a trusted ally in the delivery of dividends of democracy to the people of the State.

Inyang also commended the governor for the superlative performance in transparent leadership, determined effort at wealth and jobs creation through industrialization, provision of infrastructure, for the involvement of indigenous contractors in implementing his policies; leading to capital retention in the State.