By Ovie Okpare
Journalists based in Niger Delta have been charged to be professional and adhered strictly to the ethics of their profession in the reportage of the activities of the region.
The charge was given by stakeholders at the opening/commencement of a two-day media training on investigative reporting, inclusive development and accountability in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The media enhancement training is being organized by National Point/Forward Communication Limited with support from the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) and Macarthur Foundation.
The training, amongst other things, is aimed to expose journalists to modern tools in investigative reporting and security situations in the region.
In her opening remark, the Managing Director of National Point Newspapers and Forward Communication Limited, Ms Ibiba DonPedro, said the two-day training was to reawaken journalists to their responsibility in the region.
DonPedro lamented that despite crisis that rocked the region through militancy in the past, the issues of underdevelopment that led to the crises remained unresolved by successive governments in Nigeria.
She also berated Niger Delta politicians including state governors who took advantage of the region’s crises to enrich themselves at the detriment of the impoverished people of the oil-rich region.
DonPedro, a recipient of the prestigious CNN African Journalist of the Year Award, tasked Nigerian journalists particularly those of Niger Delta to wake up to their responsibilities by holding leaders accountable.
The award-winning journalist also charged media practitioners to expose the underdevelopment and infrastructural decay in the region to the world.
Also speaking, the Rivers State governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Comrade Beatrice Itubo, represented by Comrade Comfort Otuene, commended the organisers of the training.
Comrade Itubo, who is also the chairman of the Rivers State council of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), stressed that media practitioners have a great role to play in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
She added that it is the responsibility of journalists to guide Nigerians to make the right choice in the quest to rescue the country from its socio-economic and security challenges.
While admonishing journalists to be more professional, Itubo charged them “Don’t let your pen be bought with money.”
In their remarks, the coordinator of Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD), Prof. Zeribarin Zabbey and the APC gubernatorial candidate, Tonye Cole, represented by Douglas Aodiyi-Manuel, charged journalists to be more professional in their reportage.
The two-day media training on investigative reporting is being attended by journalists drawn from the states of the Niger Delta including NIGER DELTA TODAY’s Managing Director, Mr. Theophilus Onojeghen.