By; KENNETH ORUSI, Asaba
Journalists in the country have been urged to be fair in reporting issues instead of taking side with politicians as the media has been seen not to have done enough, “to a large extent, the media has not done enough. Often times, the media takes sides”.
The Commissioner of Information and Orientation, Bayelsa State, Hon. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said on Thursday at the 14th All Nigeria’s Editors’ Conference with the theme: “Credible Elections, Sustainable Democracy and the Nigeria Media”, holding at the Event Centre, Asaba, Delta State.
He said “you read stuff on social media and you find out that the media is already favoring a particular candidate. The media conduct opinion poll and you could see from the opinion poll that they are bias already towards a particular candidate”.
The Information Commissioner and Orientation, who represented the Bayelsa State governor, Sierake Dickson, said, such unfair reports does not illicit confidence and trust from the electorate, stressing that for the media to play the role of a true watchdog of the society, the industry must be fair.
He noted that the media should report events and issues as they were and leave judgment to the public, “we are not doing enough of that. We are more or less taking side and we have favored candidates in most cases”.
While identifying the unfairness reportage to some media owners who are in politics, he said “if the media owners are politicians, then you don’t expect the medium to report accurately and that is why we are getting it wrong”.
According to the governor, as professionals, journalists should not look up to their employers as it has a way of coloring the whole essence, “we have to be truly independent whether we like it or not, we have to allow the ethics of our profession to guide what we do”.
He commended the Delta State governor and chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Special National Convention Planning Committee, Ifeanyi Okowa, over the just concluded party primaries which produced the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as the party’s presidential flag-bearer in the 2019 general election.
He called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to follow the footprint of the PDP for conducting a free, fair and credible presidential primary election, “judging by the outcome of the primaries in Port Harcourt, very credible and the whole world could attest to that. I think he did very well, we are proud of him; it is good that he is a PDP governor and only PDP governor can produce such credible INEC chairman. We expect that INEC will take a cue from what happened at the primaries in Port Harcourt”, he reiterated.