By Achadu Gabriel, Kano
After brainstorming and deliberations, participants at the two-day capacity building workshop for media practitioners, organized by Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical, KRPC, the company adopted a new Operating and Marketing (O & M) model, saying this will translate into autonomy of the organization, expected to come along with its challenges.
Participants also stressed that for the attainment of the KRPC objectives after the autonomy, there is need for collaborative efforts between the media and the organization in creating awareness on the new role of KRPC.
With the theme “Towards Enlightened Reportage of the Oil and Gas Industry,” the workshop also attributed the present sub-optimal operation of refineries in
Nigeria, KRPC inclusive, to irregular statutory Turn Around Maintenance (TAM),” thus, the new drive towards a rehabilitated and autonomous KRPC, is viewed as a welcome development.
A communiqué issued, Sunday, in Kano at the end of two days’ workshop, media practitioners resolved that KRPC should sustain an integrated approach in addressing security challenges in the host communities by providing enlightenment.
It also called on the KRPC host communities to hold their elected representatives accountable to complement KRPC’s CSR efforts.
The forum considered the need to review the CSR concept to reflect inclusiveness for mutual benefit between KRPC and host communities. Journalists were tasked to champion the cause.
Participants observed that the Media have a social responsibility to enlighten; hence, the need for increased collaboration between KRPC and stakeholders. Participants agreed that fake news is a threat to journalism profession, and called on Media Practitioners to adhere to ethical standards.
They recommended mainstream practitioners to take the lead in the narratives in the social media to bridge the gap, which encourages fake news. The workshop called on media owners to employ professionals to tame the activities of quacks so as to avert fake news.
According to them, earning and maintaining this trust is necessary in building lasting synergy with news sources, stressing that in the exercise of the responsibilities, a journalist should always have a healthy regard for the public interest.
“Let’s look at some of the responsibilities of journalists in Nigeria as contained in the Code of Ethics:- Truth is the cornerstone of journalism, and every journalist should strive diligently to ascertain the truth of every event.
“Ensure accuracy and fairness. Factual, accurate balance and fair reporting is the ultimate objective of good journalism and the basis of earning public trust and confidence and strengthening existing synergy.
“Thus, a journalist should refrain from publishing inaccurate and misleading information. – Where such information has been inadvertently published, prompt correction should be made. A journalist must hold the right of reply as a cardinal rule of practice. Journalists should separate facts from conjecture and comment.
“As a general rule, a journalist should respect the privacy of individuals and their families, unless it affects public interest. Therefore, information on the private life of an individual or his family should only be published if it impinges on the public interest, such as exposing crime or serious misdemeanors; anti-social conduct; protecting public health, morality and safety; or preventing the public from being misled.
“A journalist should observe the universally accepted principle of confidentiality, and should not disclose the source of information obtained in confidence.
“Appearance: It is said that first impression counts; a reporter should dress and comport himself well, refrain from using offensive, abusive or vulgar language, and apply sympathy and discretion where necessary.
“A journalist should neither solicit nor accept bribe, gratification or patronage to suppress or publish information, as doing so would likely compromise the facts and the principle of fairness, accuracy and unbiased report of an event.
“It is, however, ethically and professionally right for the journalist to employ exceptional methods in gathering information, especially when the public interest is at stake. Even so, journalists should strive to employ open and honest means,” the communiqué stressed, among other recommendations.