The Nigerian Guild of Editors’ Town Hall Meeting/Capacity Building Conference would hold on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Conversations at the meeting themed ‘Agenda Setting for Sustainable Democratic Culture’ would be led by top government officials, renowned scholars, leaders of ethnic nationalities, members of the Nigerian Bar Association, traditional/religious leaders, members of the civil society groups, and others.
The meeting, sponsored by the United States Embassy in Nigeria, would also provide a platform for media stakeholders to remind editors and other senior media managers of the sacred duties they are expected to perform on behalf of the citizens.
This was disclosed in a statement by the NGE President, Mustapha Isah; and the General Secretary, Iyobosa Uwugiaren, on Sunday.
The editors said the meeting, like the others held in other geo-political zones, is expected to instil in the editors the need to perform their duties with the highest form of ethical standards and sense of responsibility.
The lead paper at the meeting will be delivered by the Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies, Federal University, Otuoke, Prof Benjamin Okaba.
The statement read in part, “The town hall meeting will provide an uncommon platform for media stakeholders to undertake self-introspection and also begin a conversation on a framework for media regulation, which will not only have their buy-in but also improve the standard for media practice in Nigeria, thereby reducing, if not eliminating, incidents of sub-standard and unprofessional reportage in the Nigerian media.
“Such conversations and hopefully eventual adoption of self-regulatory framework could also have a regional spin-off whereby countries within the region, and indeed Africa, could be encouraged to borrow a leaf from the Nigerian example, as was the case with the adoption of a Freedom of Information Act in Nigeria subsequently having a positive spin-off in Ghana.”
The meeting will be followed by a two-day capacity building workshop for over 50 editors selected from print, television/radio stations and online newspapers.
The statement added, “On the expected impact of the meeting and the capacity building workshop, the NGE said a pool of Nigerian editors and senior media managers would be galvanised and would be committed to the highest ethical standard and taking robust actions to ensure the same.
“Such editors and media managers will also be committed to the promotion and protection of the right to independent press, freedom of expression and the deepening of democratic space.”
In addition, the NGE said it is “hopeful that at the end of the project, a pool of editors will be mobilised to constantly project issue-based governance for the benefit of the Nigerian people – in line with Section 22 of the 1999 Constitution.”
The NGE explained that the programme is also expected to stimulate the key stakeholders to act responsibly and continue to deny overzealous security agents/authorities the moral ability to take punitive actions against the media for performing their constitutionally assigned role to hold the government to account.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.
Contact: [email protected]