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Journalists charged to uphold professional ethics

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NIGERIA Union of Journalists under the Ministry of Information and Public Enlightenment Chapel has concluded its 2019 Information conference with the theme;  “Professional Approach in the Reportage of Suicide Incidents in Nigeria”

 Speaking at the annual conference held last Thursday at Jerome Udoji Secretariat, the state Head of Service, Harrry Uduh commended the ministry for  organising such a constructive programme that  will help to update its members on  modern information techniques, modern communication  processes and modern  concepts of news reporting and management.  

 On his part, the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C. Don Adinuba admonished journalists to always abide by the ethics of their profession, report vices like suicide in a way that it is not “glamourising serious social problems” and also as information officers, they are saddled with the responsibilities of disseminating information about various government policies and actions, which according to him are under- reported in the state.

  Mr. Adinuba called on journalists to see themselves as agents of change and development by utilising their formal training and practical experiences to do things that will move the state forward, uphold governance and ndi Anambra through reputation management, noting the various giant strides the state has  achieved.

 The guest speaker, Associate Professor, Chinenye Nwabueze  x-rayed various causes, signs, solutions and pragmatic ways of reporting suicide incidence. According to him,  the  number of suicidal cases recorded  this year is very alarming  “in our reports, our focus should also be on how to curb suicidal thoughts.

 Earlier, the chairman of the occasion, the Commissioner for Trade and Commerce, Uchenna Okafor, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Elder D.C  Okoli said that  suicide reports were very sensitive in nature and requires not only  professionalism but also facts and carefulness, so that the disseminated information will not cause more problem in the society.

 In her keynote address, the state Commissioner for Basic Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha commended the chapel for organising such a programme with a topical discourse targeted at curtailing unprofessional reporting of suicide cases. While describing suicide as a mental illness, she charged journalists to always think of how they can help people through accurate and responsive journalism to ensure that they not only control suicidal tendencies but also assist those who have been victims

 The chairman, state Information Chapel, Comr. Stanley Onunkwor noted that the conference was his first and the third edition since he took the mantle of leadership around September this year.  However, he said that due to increased rate of suicide in Nigeria, the union saw the need to lecture journalists in the ministry on professional ways of reporting suicide cases.

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