Justice Walter Onnoghen CJN urges journalists to uphold professional ethics

The CJN called on the press to always cross-check facts for accurate and balanced reporting of judicial activities.

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Justice Walter Onnoghen

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The Chief Judge of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, has urged journalists, especially judicial correspondents, to always uphold the ethics of their profession.

He made the call on Monday in Abuja at the opening a two-day workshop organised for judiciary correspondents.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop is organised by the National Judicial Institute (NJI) and has “Empowering Judicial Correspondents for Effective and Efficient Reportage” as ts theme.

The CJN also urged judiciary correspondents to see the judiciary as an institution designed to outlived individuals.

He added that “the judiciary is the foundation of the rule of law in any society. If that foundation is threatened in any way, including threat to its independence, there cannot be a viable democracy.

“For our evolving democracy to be fully entrenched and enduring, the press must partner with the judiciary in the performance of this very crucial role.

“The press must be in the forefront of educating the public on the workings of our courts and our justice delivery system.”

Onnoghen said that the press was a sounding board of public opinion which relay judicial interpretation of law and the grafting of such interpretation into the consciousness of citizens.

He noted that the role played by the press in disseminating information necessitated the need to regulate its reportage of court proceedings or matters that impact upon public confidence of the judiciary.

Onnoghen called on the press to always cross-check facts for accurate and balanced reporting of judicial activities.

According to him, a responsible press is only an effective check on any arm of government when it comes to objective and truthful reporting.

The CJN called on the press to develop closer partnership with the judiciary to uphold justice.

In her welcome address, the Administrator of NJI, Mrs Rosaline Bozimo, urged the judiciary correspondents to continually improve themselves through reading, learning and getting abreast with current trends in the judiciary.

She said that the workshop was organised to enrich journalists’ knowledge and create avenue for them to garner the requisite information as it relates to judiciary reportage.

She added that “the role of journalists in our society and especially in the judiciary cannot be over-emphasised. The society depends on them for accurate and balanced reportage devoid of sentiments, sensationalism and bias.

“A journalist must be objective and fair, just and honest, decent and responsible, and indeed live above board, both in his or her conduct and in the discharge of duties.”

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Bozimo said that the four topics chosen for the workshop were tailored toward equipping reporters with the necessary skills, knowledge and expertise for effective and efficient reporting.

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