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Nigerian editors restate commitment to defence of democracy, press freedom

Nigerian editors restate commitment to defence of democracy, press freedom

The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has restated its commitment to creating an enabling and sustainable environment for press freedom and protection of journalists’ rights to thrive.

The guild said this would ensure the sustainability of democracy and good governance in the country.

The editors said spoke at the end of their two-day national biennial convention in Owerri, the Imo State capital, at the weekend.

The convention was attended by over 400 editors from the print, broadcast, and online media houses.

In a communiqué by its President, Eze Anaba, and the General Secretary, Iyobosa Uwugiaren, the editors noted that in a rapidly evolving media landscape where information flows at a rapid pace, the role of journalism in shaping good governance and democracy has never been more crucial than now.

“We, as journalists, bear the enormous responsibility of providing accurate, reliable, and unbiased news to the public, thereby fostering transparency, accountability, and public participation in the affairs of our nation.

“The 2023 general election marked a decisive turning point for our nation’s democracy. And as we embark on this new phase, it has become very necessary that editors – as gatekeepers -recommit themselves to the highest standards of professionalism, ethics, and integrity. We must be the precursors of truth, holding those in power accountable; while providing a platform for diverse voices and perspectives,” the statement said.

Examining the role of journalists in the 2023 general election, in a paper tilted: Post-2023 Election: Promoting Professionalism for Enhancement of Democracy and Good Governance, the editors said they had recommitted themselves to the watchdog role to ensure that public office holders are closely monitored to make them live up to the expectation of the people.

The NGE added: “To achieve this, we must prioritise continuous professional development and capacity building. As journalists, we should strive to stay updated on emerging trends, technological advancements, and ethical standards within our industry. This national convention serves as a demonstration to our shared commitment to excellence and the pursuit of knowledge.

“We intend to collaborate and foster partnerships not only within our ranks but also with other stakeholders in the democratic space; engaging with civil society organisations, government agencies, and international bodies in order to build bridges and intensify our mutual impact.

 

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