By Ime Silas

For a peaceful and progressive Akwa Ibom State, journalists operating in the state have been charged to always uphold the age-long ethic of balance reportage, while also promotng issues that unite in lieu of those which disunite the people.

Akwa Ibom Governor-elect; Pastor Umo Eno who gave the charge yesterday in his goodwill message at a One-day Get-together/Seminar for journalists in Uyo, also promised that his incoming government would partner with Media Practitioners in order to showcase the peaceful ambience, rich cultural heritage and tourism potentials of the state.

The event held at the Ibom E-Library, Babangida Avenue, Uyo, was sponsored by Zion Chambers, #26 Oron Road, Uyo and facilitated by the Honorary Special Adviser to the Governor on Judiciary Matters; Ndon Asian.

Represented at the occasion by a former Commissioner for Information in Akwa Ibom State; Prince Chris Abasieyo, the Governor-elect commended the media for its role in the just concluded general elections, noting that the import of the press in any given society could not be overemphasized.

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While lauding Zion Chambers for sponsoring the seminar, Pastor Umo Eno averred that the contents of papers presented at the event by the eminent speakers were keys to impactful and developmental journalism. He promised that the seminar would be a routine during his administration, beginning May 29, 2023.

Speaking on the topic ‘The Line Between Responsible Journalism and Libel -Observing The Rules’, a Senior lawyer in the state and Principal Partner of Zion Chambers; Samuel Ikpo, Esq., exposed the participants to various reasons some journalists ran into trouble in the course of their official duties.

While counseling the Media Practitioners to always crosscheck their facts before publishing in order to identify libelous and slanderous contents, Barr. Ikpo however opined that responsible journalism was sine qua non for accountability in government.

On his part, a former General Manager and CEO of Akwa Ibom Newspaper Corporation- Publishers of the State-owned Pioneer Newspapers; Mr. Anietie Usen said that aside from Certificate which qualified one to practice as a journalist, contacts would help a Media Practitioner excel in practice, while his character would place him above contemporaries.

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Usen, who is also a former General Editor of the Newswatch Magazine, while dissecting the topic ‘My Experience as a Journalist and the Challenges of Nation Building’, however advised the Pen Pushers to dwell more on those matters that will promote peace, unity, development and security.

Assistant Managing Editor of The Premium Times, Nigeria; Mr. Cletus Ukpong who spoke on the topic: ‘Good Journalism in Today’s Environment -The Necessity for Holistic Approach and Value of Specialization, urged Media Practitioners in the state to “…explore the unexplored areas of journalism”.

Ukpong said “It seems that everyone appears to be just comfortable going to cover and report events. That is not the beginning and end of journalism. There are lots of areas that are still not explored. As practitioners, you must go beyond ‘PR’ or such kind of stories, and also dwell on journalism that impacts the society, positively”

The event was graced by journalists from different Media Houses in the state.