Panellists at a conference have urged the conventional and the social media practitioners to practice responsible journalism for the socio-economic development of the country.
They made the appeal on Tuesday in Lagos at the parley tagged: “Stimulating Responsible New Media Journalism – A Pathway to International Recognition.”
The parley was organised by First City Monument Bank.
The panellists were of the view that social media was a threat to the conventional ones, noting that most of the practitioners went into the business as an alternative job.
Such practitioners, they said, plied the trade without regards for the ethics of the profession.
Martins Oloja, Editor of the Guardian newspaper, said the social media practitioners were in a hurry to break the news but advised that conventional media should cover up their lapses.
Oloja said many false stories go to the public through the social media due to lack of investigation.
He urged the conventional media to rise up to investigative journalism to highlight issues.
He said: “There are lazy people in many newsrooms but a lazy person cannot be a good investigator.
“Journalism is where you get no money but fame.
“Social media has come to stay.
“There is nothing the conventional media can do about them.
“All they need do is to be resourceful.”
For broadcaster Larry Izamoje, the new media activities were part of journalism practice and urged the practitioners to ensure that they put the interest of the public first.
Izamoje, proprietor of Brilla FM Radio, advised social media journalists to be trained and called on the government to empower the Nigerian Press Council and Nigerian Broadcasting Commission to live up to their responsibilities.
Adesuwa Onyenokwe, a publisher, urged the new media journalists to observe the five Ws and H, noting that only this would help them to practice journalism as expected.
Onyenokwe advised social media practitioners to avoid being used by politicians or other persons, stressing that their publications today might be against them tomorrow.
An Editor, Femi Ayodele, said journalists must be accountable and responsible to the people with the information they disseminate.
Earlier, the Group Managing Director of the FCMB, Ladi Balogun, said the media parley was organised because of the enormous responsibility shouldered by the media.
Balogun said the new and conventional media journalists should carry out their professional activities with a view to influence positively those in authorities and the general public.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the conference attracted journalists from the social, print and electronic media covering crime and judiciary beats.