The leadership of the Independent Newspaper Publishers Association Rivers State (RIVPA) has urged media practitioners in the state to join forces with the Rivers State government and relevant agencies in the fight against soot and environmental pollution across the state.
Making the charge in Port Harcourt, Pastor Jerry Needam, Chairman of Independent Newspaper Publishers Association, Rivers State said at no time are journalists as information disseminators and change advocates called to task for public good than now and should therefore deploy all their communication skills to sensitize the populace on the dangers posed by illegal crude oil refineries to human health.
Pastor Needam said as professionals, journalists cannot but carry out their duties in this campaign by being dispassionate and committed only to public interest.
He urged the journalists not to get involved in the controversies such serious government measures are bound to trigger especially among political opponents and their supporters.
“Our own take is to inform the public on official policies, decisions, actions and corresponding reactions objectively, truthfully and fairly to all parties involved. Henceforth, any journalist that chooses to be involved and unethical in their reports do so at their own peril,” the RIVPA chairman warned.
Pastor Needam who doubles as the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Sole Administrator, Rivers State Waste Management Agency, RIWAMA, insisted that the greater public good remains the guiding principle for journalism practice and must not be compromised on the altar of personal interests and desires.