Delta State Governor Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has charged Publishers of Community Newspapers to practice responsible journalism and avoid promoting ethnic conflicts to ensure peaceful co-existence in the state.
Dr. Uduaghan who gave the charge when the Association of Community Newspapers Publishers Delta State Chapter paid him a courtesy visit in Asaba said they should ensure that their news items were correct and balanced at all times.
He enjoined them to be conscious of their write ups and as social reformers help to reduce hatred between various ethnic groups in the state.
The governor who charged them to be a bridge between the government and grassroot also stressed the need for them to set agenda on inter-ethnic harmony. “Let us be conscious in our reporting because inter-ethnic hatred is building up and the magnitude is high,” he said.
Governor Uduaghan explained that community Newspapers have the leverage and the potentials to unite the people rather than fanning the embers of hatred.
He reminded them of their closeness to the grassroot explaining that as opinion leaders they should avoid yellow journalism and be true to both government and the people.
The governor therefore appealed to them to practice development journalism to enable them have mutual commitment with government towards nurturing the nascent democracy. “You are close to the grassroot and we will support you to do your job well, so that the rural populace will be adequately informed,” he said.
The governor also charged them to assist in monitoring those who encourage sharp practices in primary and post primary schools as well as in hospitals to check sabotage of the free antenatal, post natal and education programmes of the state government.
In a brief address, the Chairman of the Association Comrade Femi Odonmeta said the Association shared a mutual commitment with the Uduaghan Administration and would assist the government in protecting and nurturing the nascent democracy to greater heights.
He stated that the cardinal objective of the association was to promote love, peaceful co-existence among all ethnic nationalities in the state.
“Our effort is geared towards the development of the state and we will shun every negative tendency that will undermine these goals,” he said.