‘How social media aids in obtaining classified information as exclusive’
Former Director-General of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Dr. Tony Iredia, has said the advent of social media in Nigeria has helped the conventional media in obtaining information that is clarified as exclusive by public officials. He stated this yesterday in an interview with journalists at the 19th National Conference of African Council for Communication Education (ACCE) holding at National Institute for Policy and Strategy Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Plateau state.
“Social media has assisted the traditional media in obtaining information from government officials, where the traditional media could not,” Iredia said.
The former NTA boss, also a veteran journalist, blamed hate speeches and alleged fake news on attempts by public officials in withholding vital information from the public.
According to him, “People should be held accountable for what they say in public places, not to blame media organisations for broadcasting or publishing their news.”
He, however, cautioned journalists to base their reportage on truth and adhere to strict ethical practices, adding, “But media houses, which publish text of public officials, must be careful on what they publish.”
In his address, Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Prof. Sonni Tyoden, commended organisers of the event, saying the annual event by African Council for Communication Education, was a welcome development.
Tyoden urged non-Nigerian participants at the four-day workshop to tour Plateau State, maintaining that the state was secure in spite of recent attacks.
Earlier, Chief of Communication, UNICEF, Nigeria Country Office, Ms Found Porter, in her address at the workshop, appealed to Nigerian journalists to be friendly in reporting child rights issues. She said the media in Nigeria have the capacity to address issues affecting Nigerian children negatively, emphasising that child-friendly reports could help tackle harmful traditional and religious practices against children in Nigeria.
According to Porter, reported cases of child molestation in Nigeria had hindered the wellbeing of the Nigerian child, and called on journalists in the country to press on legislators, at all levels of governance through reportage, to enact laws that would protect the Nigerian child from harassment.
She said UNICEF has developed an educational framework to coach students of mass communication in Nigerian universities and journalism institutions in Nigeria on how to effectively report on child rights.