By Ifeanyi Olannye
Mr Olisa Ifeajika, the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, has charged media professionals to embrace developmental journalism in the interest of the nation.
Ifeajika gave the advice on Monday, when members of staff of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Delta visited him at the Government House, Asaba to congratulate him on his appointment as CPS.
He said that journalism had gone beyond armchair reporting and “yellow journalism”, adding that falsehood, blackmail and unsubstantiated reports about an individual, organisation or state was no longer fashionable.
He therefore admonished journalists in the country to verify their facts from credible sources before going to press.
Ifeajika described negative and false reportage as damaging to people’s reputation and integrity of the mass media.
He further said that misinformation and false publication had the potency to incite public protest against innocent people or organisation.
According to him, “This development usually leads to loss of lives and wanton destruction of valuable property, which ordinarily could have been averted if the journalist had exercised caution.”
He said: “Journalists must not always look out for fault in a government policy, project or programme.
“They should rather start with the process to make the necessary corrections from the outset.
“In this way they can hold government accountable for any wrong doing, if government failed to heed the early warning.”
He appealed to journalists in the state to always feel free to contact him or the Commissioner for Information for clarification on any issues of serious concern.
The CPS, who was a Deputy Editor-in-Chief in NAN before his appointment, thanked the NAN family for the visit, describing it as a vote of confidence on him.
He expressed his gratitude to the governor for finding him worthy for the position, saying that it was a sheer privilege to serve ones state.
“NAN as a family has been honoured, probably in recognition of its exceptional role and professionalism in the mass media industry in Nigeria,” he said.
He recalled that many NAN staff had been appointed into political offices in the country, including Commissioners and CPS, among others.
“I am proud to be associated with NAN and I am happy to belong to this family. I want to encourage you to keep the flag flying,” Ifeajika said.
Earlier, Dr Ejike Obeta, Head, NAN in Delta, said the visit was to felicitate with one of their own on his new appointment.
“We congratulate you on your appointment and we consider this an honour that the governor has found you worthy to be his CPS.
“Ifeajika is a professional to the core and not only that he hails from Delta, he has made menaingful contribution to the development of the state.
“We, therefore, thank the governor for his appointment and we want to also assure the government and people of Delta that NAN is dedicated to quality service to the nation and humanity.
“The agency would also continue to be part of the development process in the state,” Obeta said.