The chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, AKS Council, Comrade Amos Etuk.

The Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Akwa Ibom State Council, Comrade Amos Etuk, has reminded journalists in the state of the burden of staying true to the ethics of the profession.

Comrade Amos Etuk said Journalists are the true vaccine against hate speeches, falsehood, reckless speculations, irresponsible, sensational and tactless media terrorism.

The State NUJ Chairman made this assertion in his opening speech during the 2021 World Press Freedom Day organized by the Akwa Ibom State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Monday , 3rd May 2021, at the NUJ Press Center, Information drive, Uyo.

“Go as worthy ambassadors of our great profession, realising that as trained Journalists, you are the true vaccine against hate speeches, falsehood, reckless speculations, irresponsible, sensational and tactless media terrorism that have become the order of the day. We must seek this freedom with clean hands.”

While listing Journalists who were either killed or incarcerated in the line of their duties by agents of government , he also said that, “Nigerian journalists, are grappling with the onerous provisions of the Cybercrime Act 2015, under which several Journalists have been prosecuted using the provisions of Section 24 of the Act that penalizes cyber’s talking or messages that are false, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, ill will, or needless anxiety to another”

According to the chairman, It was against this background of increasing difficulties confronting professional journalists that World Press Freedom Day was celebrated today, with the theme Information as a public good.

“If information must be for public good, then we must utilise our strength to douse growing tension in our land. We must use the instrumentality of Journalism to promote national unity and cohesion in the face of growing spate of hate speech and incendiary discourses pervading our national space.” Comrade Amos, posited

Comrade Etuk, encouraged Journalists to remain courageous to reporting factually and truthfully by resisting the temptation to become part of the malaise by becoming overtly emotional and pandering to the primordial sentiments and emotions in such reportage.

“Our Journalism must be for public good: a public good to inform, educate and yes, entertain in these very trying times.

We must rekindle hope in our country’s ability to rise above the current dwindling situation we are facing and point the direction to progress in a nation desperately in need of patriotic leadership and citizenship.” He reitirated.

The state NUJ Boss further restated the resolve of his state led NUJ to continue to operate in decency and contribute to the peace and growth of Akwa ibom State.

“We shall always in doing this abdicate our responsibilities to hold to accountability those entrusted with leadership. In doing this, however, it must be within the dictates of our professional ethos, and the high ethical standards we have already set as a Council”.

“We shall continue to partner Akwa Ibom State Government to ensure that our State is properly, adequately, and positively reported”.

“As major stakeholders in the Akwa Ibom Project, we shall take serious and sensitive approach to reporting violence, insecurity, and ethnic issues, with a view to build and not rip down, he concluded.