2023: History Beckons On Journalists, Says Rivers Info Commissioner
As the 2023 general election continues to dominate the media space, journalists have been charged to be objective in their reportage as history beckons on them.
Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim who gave the charge, said media practitioners, as members of the fourth estate of the realm, should be professional in the discharge of their duties.
Speaking at a workshop organized by the Rivers State chapter of Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) in Port Harcourt, Thursday, the Commissioner regretted that the leadership recruitment process in the country has been flawed, hence the need for the media to be circumspect in dispensing their jobs.
“As journalists, we need to set the right agenda and not allow the media to be used for malicious and libelous publications”, he cautioned.
Pastor Nsirim advised journalists to promote issues- based electioneering campaigns, that would allow the candidates speak to the electorates on what their social contract would be with the people.
“Journalists should avoid partisanship because that would make them to be prejudiced in reportage. So, objectivity should be what we should place at the central burner now that we are planning for 2023”, he said.
Nsirim, who is the State Chairman of the NIPR, said the workshop is a gathering of PR practitioners as well as journalists in the state, aimed at equipping them with the relevant skills to be relevant in the political system.
“Campaigns have started and politicians have started looking for aspirants for offices. We need to be professionally equipped to key in to the political process”, he said while expressing confidence that participants are leaving, better equipped for the tasks ahead.
Earlier, the Lead Facilitator at the workshop dubbed ‘Master Class’, and President, African Public Relations Practitioners Association (APRPA), Yomi Badejo-Okusanya had outlined the various strategies needed by PR practitioners to sell candidates to the electorates.
Popularly called ‘YBO’, the President charged practitioners to be equipped with the rudiments of political communication, as that is an intrinsic tool required by both journalists and PR practitioners in the current dispensation.
Highlight of the event was a mock presentation of PR proposals to sell four of the aspirants currently jostling for the Presidential tickets of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The practitioners were grouped A – D, to represent the party aspirants, at the end of which Group D earned the highest score of 85 points.