Guild of Editors reiterates commitment to promotion of democracy, press freedom

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Uba Group
The Nigerian Guild of Editors has reiterated its commitment to the growth of democracy and press freedom in the land, stating that journalists would not succumb to pressure to abandon the two vital ingredients.

Uba Group

The position was articulated, on Wednesday, in the communiqué issued at the end of the town hall meeting/capacity building training for editors.

Three hundred and fifty editors were said to be present at the event that garnered participants from across the country.

They maintained that having contributed to the sustenance of democracy in the country, with lives of some of its members on the line, they were equipped by the training to discharge their constitutional role of holding government accountable to the people.

The participants lauded the US Embassy in Nigeria for sponsoring the regional training workshop for 350 editors across the country, while also calling for the training of line editors and reporters.

The communiqué jointly signed by NGE’s President, Mustapha Isah, and the General Secretary, Iyobosa Uwugiaren, read that “Editors have resolved to assist in ensuring that frivolous and unserious candidates as well as those who have not demonstrated any capacity for leadership, are weeded out from the race.

“Ahead of the 2023 general election, editors should engage more with other stakeholders like civil society groups, Independent National Electoral Commission, security agencies and others in deepening the democratic process.

“The editors should also ensure that the parties and their candidates are properly guided along issue-based campaigns and discourage campaigns anchored on exploring the ethnic, religious and regional divide that tend to put the country asunder.

“While other sections of the society were pummelled under military dictatorship, the media stood like the rock of Gibraltar and had the effrontery to look the military in the eye.

“Unfortunately, in spite of the huge human and material resources of the country, many years of democratic rule have not brought significant development in different sectors to meaningfully impact on the lives of the Nigerian people. But, the media will not give up in its defence of democracy.’’

It stressed, “There is need for the media to always use fact check tools to verify its stories. And that no matter how reliable a source has been in the past, the media should always be circumspect about any disclosures from any sources by double-checking the information.

“Editors agreed that the media should endeavour to regulate professional practice and also ensure proper corporate governance on the part of the owners of media houses in order to guarantee adequate supply of working tools, better working environment and improvement in staff welfare.”