By Nna Anulumadu
The Special adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, has tasked media practitioners in Nigeria to resist the temptation of fake news in their reports.
Adesina said this at the Silver Jubilee and Maiden Alumni Homecoming of Department of Mass Communication, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. The event was held at ASUU-NAU Secretariats of the institution.
Adesina, who was the keynote speaker at the event, blamed unverified news reporting as major contributor to the many challenges of the country, citing the instances where unorthodox media handles publish stories that is not based on facts but also endanger lives of innocent citizens and society.
Adesina, represented by Professor Nnaemeka Agbanu of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, Anambra state, said that mass communication has a critical role at ensuring peace and conflict resolution in the society. He urged media practitioners to be truthful and realistic to ensure peaceful co-existence of Nigerians.
The media Aide complained that many progress made in the area of security had been grossly underreported, and said that mass communication must resist the pervading believe that only bad news sells, assuring that the country was making progress despite the enough challenges she is facing.
“The media should hold government accountable, but must be factual in whatever they are reporting to avoid pulling the country down. They should strive to improve the system and not to disintegrate the country”, she said.
While declaring the event open, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Charles Okechukwu Esimone, said alumni bodies serves as a veritable platform for contributing to various facets of the development of a university.
Esimone, who commended the Head of Mass Communication, Professor Chinwe Uzochukwu, Staff and students of the department for conceiving the idea, while reemphasising the import of alumni association in the university system.
He said his ‘Project 200’ vision requires the entire effort of the university community to become not only the best university in the country, but also among the best in Africa. He maintained that the newly launched ‘UNIZIK Comet Magazine’ had been a reliable source of information in the university, as well as providing a workshop for the hands-on training of students of the Department.
Meanwhile, Prof. Uzochukwu, described the event as unique, which, she said, marked a new beginning in line with the think home philosophy of the vice-chancellor who challenged them to use the alumni body for the good of the university. She encouraged the alumni of the institution to partner the students in creating opportunities for them in all spheres especially employment wise and mentoring.
She encouraged the alumni to be a good ambassadors of the department and institution, urging them to adopt the moral barometer in the discharge of their duties as journalists.
The Jubilee lecturer, Kasie Abone, a veteran journalist with ThisDay Newspapers, harped on the import of training to ensure successful practice in the profession, asking journalists to be creative in telling compelling stories to attract audience.
Earlier, the chairman of the occasion, Ifeanyi Igwebuike Mbanefo, told his audience to give their best despite the enormous challenges facing the country, and tasked them to take advantage of the digital age to carve a niche for themselves.
Conferment of awards to Sen Andy Uba, Sen Obinna Ogba, Chief Ralphs Nwosu, HRH Igwe Prof. Onuora Nwuneli, Prof. Godson Okafor, Deji Bademosi, Prof. Stella Okunna, Prof. Kate Omenugha, Ifeanyi Igwebuike Mbanefo, Engr. Chris Azubogu, Dr. Nelson Omenugha, Chief Chukwueloka Agbasimelo, Mrs. Kasie Abone, as well as the inauguration of alumni committee and launch of the ‘Unizik Comet Magazine’ formed high points of the occasion.