The United Nations has called on the media in Nigeria to stop promoting conflicts in the interest of peace and justice, adding that it must facilitate informed debates with opportunities for all citizens to express their views.
The Country Director of the United Nations Information Centre in Nigeria, Ronald Kayanja, made the call while delivering the second anniversary lecture of Penpushing Media, with the theme: “The Media and the Quests for Peace, Justice and Strong Institution in Nigeria.”
Kayanja also called for capacity building of journalists to achieve objective reportage of the country, stressing that it was the duty of the media to build a sense of community among the people and also serve as vehicle for cultural cohesion.
In similar vein, he called on the media to desist from engaging school dropouts as journalists to save cost, noting that the damages it has on the profession was enormous, with a call for the engagement of more authentic journalists in the media industry.
In his remark, Chairman on the occasion, Felix Ogunaike, called on Nigerians to be wary of fake news, which he said was a result of laziness and quackery.
Earlier, in his welcome speech, the founder of Penpushing, Prince Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji, explained that the loop transformed into an online news medium with genuine desire to add value to journalism and the need for credible news across the globe.
Kayode-Adedeji said: “The coming into existence of Penpushing at this time is very significant and desirable.
“This is in the sense that in the past there had been the era of ‘Yellow journalism’ or ‘Junk journalism’ which has now become full blown era of the age long phenomenon of Fake News.
“Fake News has been described as a type of yellow journalism or propaganda that consists of deliberate misinformation or hoaxes spread through traditional print and broadcast news media or online social platforms.
“However, in this era of fake news where writers create stories laced with false claims from unverified sources, with sensational headlines to attract attention, discredit or hold the ‘other side’ by the jugular, comes Penpushing, a medium which cherishes the TRUTH. At Penpushing, we have resolved to at all times err on the side of truth in our desire to break news.
“We shall do not dress lies in the beautiful garment of truth.
“We avoid the dark side of social media, uphold values and project the truth always to promote global peace ,respect for human rights, good governance and elimination of poverty.
“It’s a pact we are signing and swear to uphold.”
The theme discussants included Prof. Lai Osho (moderator), Dr. Jendele Hugbo and Owolabi Oladejo, the founder of Metropolitan Media Services.
The anniversary lecture was attended by Chief Bola Obasanjo; Olota of Ota, Prof. Adeyemi Obalanlege; Yetunde Onanuga, Ogun State Deputy Governor; Commodore Kayode Olofinmoyin, former Military Administrator; Iyalode Alaba Lawson; Ahmed Iliyasu, Ogun State Commissioner of Police; Oba James Olugbenga Sodiya, Olumakin of Ogunmakin; and Ambassador Tunde Oladunjoye
Others included Elder Sola Adeyemi, former Ogun State Head of Service; Otunba Dayo Adeneye, Ogun State Information Commissioner, who represented Governor Ibikunle Amosun; Adams Uba, Head of Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Ogun State; Leke Adeseri, veteran journalist; Funmi Wakama, General Manager, Nigeria Television Authority, Ogun State; Olayinka Almona; and Dr. Oluwaseyi Soremekun.
The list also included Lanre Ogundipe, former President, Nigeria Union of Journalists; Otunba Gbenga Onayiga, former Vice President, Nigeria Union of Journalists; Eddy Aina, former Director, National Broadcasting Commission; Dr. Goke Rauf, Director, School of Communications, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta; Tokunboh Oloruntola, veteran journalist; Dele Ayodo, veteran journalist; Yemisi Fadairo, veteran journalist; Funke Fadugba, former Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Lagos State Council; Toyin Ogunbomehin; and Sina Adefolahan
The colourful event also had in attendance students of tertiary and secondary institutions, professional bodies, civil societies, Non-Governmental Organisations, National Youth Service Corps, State Security, Economic Financial Crimes Commission, Federal Road Safety Corps and Ogun State Traffic Compliance.