Anambra state governor, Chief Willie Obiano, Thursday, charged media practitioners to always engage the government to engender meaningful development to the populace through objective reporting.
Obiano made the call at opening of two-day 2019 Media Summits and Awards organised by Anambra State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) under the theme, Media, Legislature and National Development.
The event chaired by Chief Ifeatu Obi-Okoye, Special Adviser to Governor Obiano on Politics had in attendance top government functionaries and representatives of the police, FRSC, and others.
He said the media has the capacity to make the government to be accountable and listen to the cries of people.
The governor, represented by his Deputy, Dr Nkem Okeke, admitted that every ‘good’ leader required the media to feel the pulse of his followers which government functionaries may not be able to carry on effectively.
“But it depends on the integrity, honesty and sincerity of the media. It will not work if the government don’t have integrity. It cannot work if the media join in spreading false information.
“We should be careful when we sit down to write. You should be careful and objective in writing your stories. Integrity is the key. We should not collect money to tell lies. Posterity can judge us on what we write,” he added.
On her part, the first female professor of Mass Communication in Nigeria and former Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Prof. Stella Okunna, argued that Nigeria might fail to actualise the Sustainable Development Goal (SDP) if the media do not join the force.
Okunna, while describing the media as very powerful and veritable tool to shake the world, urged journalists to hold unto the ethics of the profession and courageously perform their function as watchdogs not attack or lap dogs.
Delivering a lecture on media, democracy and development, the Lead Speaker, Dr Obiora Okonkwo, advised the media against reporting only the negative aspect of the society but to also influence development through their reports.
Okonkwo also urged journalists to engage on trainings and get exposed to modern trends with a view to effectively report happenings and ways forward.
Earlier, the Chairman of NUJ, Anambra state Council, Comrade Emmanuel Ifesinachi, said the summit which is third of its kind, serves as platform where media executives and journalists meet to brainstorm and propose ways forward for good governance, journalism, development and democracy.