2019 Elections NPC cautions media on reporting political activities

Njemanze, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Monday in Abuja cautioned the media against reporting any issue that could trigger negative reactions among Nigerians.

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The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Press Council (NPC), Mr Nnamdi Njemanze, has urged media practitioners to adhere strictly to rules and regulations in reporting political activities.

Njemanze, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Monday in Abuja cautioned the media against reporting any issue that could trigger negative reactions among Nigerians.

He also advised journalists to know when a politician was going overboard in saying things that would be inimical to the ethics of the profession and national interest.

He said that the press must be reminded of its social responsibility to the society, adding that the media should contribute to building the society and not bringing it down.

He stressed the need for the media to report every angle but ensure that each angle was well processed and verified and the news provided are accurate and balance.

Njemanze said it was incumbent on the senior editors to guide reporters to ensure that whatever reports they file are professionally balanced, saying “editors should always ask reporters relevant questions to get the truth.

“ We are in a country that is guided by law when you go overboard there are laws to check such excess like laws on defamation will to come into play.

“ No owner of media will want his Newspaper to go under because of court inflicted fines that can run down the newspaper.

“ As preparations for 2019 draw closer, my advice is for the media to learn from the lessons of the previous elections.

“ The media should not do anything that will trigger negative reactions among Nigerians and Media should be more ethically incline in reporting political activities.

“ We know the behavior of an average politician is to seek advantage by putting his opponent in bad light, Njemanze said.

The executive secretary said that the media was just a mirror, adding that whatever news that was reported by the newspapers houses were just a reflection of what the mirror was picking.

He enjoined journalists to understand that any information they send out had consequences for the politician who made those statements and the reporter that projected the information, particularly if the information was found to be untrue.

Commenting on Senate’s proposed capital punishment for perpetrators of hate speech, Njemanze said personally he was against capital punishment because no individual has a right to take the life of other.

“ Naturally by my own disposition I am against capital punishment because I believe no one individual has a right to take the life of the other.

“ What I believe is that in trying to control hate speech we should also not give armor to those who are against press freedom.”

He said that there was a thin line between hate speech and press freedom, saying “ some of the things regarded as hate if properly interrogate will be discover that people go overboard in trying to express their rights to freedom of expression without looking at the consequences.

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