The Nigerian Army has advised the Nigerian maritime journalists to avoid reports that can cause damage to the reputation of the maritime sector as well as the nation as a whole.
The advice was given by the Commandant, Nigerian Army Schools of Public relations and Information (NASPRI), Col. John Agim while delivering a lecture titled, “when and Why To Bypass Official Sources of Information,” in Lagos, last week
The event was jointly organized by NASPRI and the Nigerian Ports Authority for maritime reporters in Nigeria with the theme: Advancing Sustainability and Excellence in maritime Industry Reportage.”
He said that 75% of shipping activities in West Africa was done in Nigeria hence, the need for diligent and purposeful reportage that will not scare potential investors away from the country.
“Maritime contributes largely to the economy of the country, it therefore means news reports on maritime activities must be based on accurate and factual data, fair and balanced information devoid of biases, partisanship and self-censorship,” he said.
Speaking further, he stated that reportage was not supposed to be punitive which a reporter will use to retaliate the action of an individual, an action which he said could boomerang on the entire nation, adding that the social responsibility of journalism is not just the truth but something weightier than the truth.
Earlier in his opening remark, the army boss said that the centre had trained over 1,300 military personnel from the Army, navy and the Air force as well as defence correspondents.
The Coordinator of the workshop, Mr. Marce Anyawu also enjoined the participants to eschew reports that do not have depth which he described as vulture journalism where journalists perch on the already reported story of their colleagues without taking time to carry out the source and authenticity of the story.
He therefore charged all the men in the pen industry to get involved more in investigative reporting order than getting stories on the surface or relying on the public relation sources of an organization.
In addition, Anyawu advised the participants to be bold and courageous in carrying out their investigations into matters of importance to the public and the economy of the nation in other for them to be able to write their names in gold in their chosen field.