NUJ lacks legal backing to prosecute fake journalists — Odusile

Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) lacks the enabling legislation to prosecute fake journalists in the country Mr Abdulwaheed Odusile, the union’s President, has said.

Odusile made this known in Lokoja on Thursday while speaking at the Kogi NUJ 2018 Press Week with the theme; “The Media and News Reporting in an Election Year”.

Abdulwaheed Odusile
NUJ President

He said that several unethical practices had been perpetrated by some people masquerading as journalists on social media in the name of journalism.

He commended the state chairman of the NUJ for carefully choosing the topic as the election year in which journalists have a big role to play, was fast approaching.

“Posting on social media does not make you a journalist. As professional journalists, we must process information before releasing it to the public for consumption.

“On our part as leadership, we have approached the National Assembly for a law to be enacted on that. National Press Council Act that is being amended will also take care of many of these anomalies,” Odusile said.

He urged the council to ensure that each chapel has a copy of the revised Code of Ethics for Journalism in Election Coverage, stressing that every member should read the document.

“The bottom line is that as journalists, we must strictly adhere to the ethics of our profession.”

In his remarks, Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi, who was represented by the state House of Assembly Speaker, Rt Hon. Matthew Kolawole, urged journalists to ensure proper investigation in whatever they report.

‘Let us join hand together and build a better Kogi because we have no place to run to.”

The governor gave the approval for the release of the bus he had promised in 2016 and the renovation of the building in the premises of the state NUJ.

Earlier, the state NUJ Chairman, Mr Adeiza Jimoh, said: “in spite of its imperfection, Nigeria’s Democratic Governance is in its 19 unbroken years and the role of media cannot be overemphasized.”.

Jimoh commended the governor for enhancing the work of journalists in the state, while appealing to him to fulfill the promises he made in 2016, to donate a bus to the council and the reconstruction of the NUJ colonial building.

NAN reports that Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari was one of the Guest Speakers at the occasion. (NAN)

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