NPA Boss Calls For Regular Training Of Journalists

Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman, the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), on Monday called for regular training of journalists covering the maritime sector.Bala-Usman said such step would help to educate journalists about the operations of the ports for them to appreciate the importance of the sector to the economy.The NPA boss, who was represented by Mr Isa Suwaid, a Director in NPA, at a three-day training for journalists covering the maritime sector in Lagos on Monday, charged journalists to be well equipped.“Maritime journalists should ensure that their information are factual.“To achieve this, your products must be seen to be balanced, fair and objective beyond all doubt, any thing short of this will make your product un-creditable andmake the product to seen as sensational, blackmail, libel and untrue.“The theory of social responsibility behooves on you to know the responsibilities expected of you as you exercise your freedom to publish.“Therefore, there is the need to strike a balance between the freedom to publish and social responsibility.“In other words, if the maritime press will be free to publish anything it deems fit, it behooves on you to be willing to accept responsibility for what ever is published.“With the privilege position that the press enjoys under the Freedom of Information Act, the press must be seen at all times to be putting public interest and national security at the centre of their jobs,’’ she said.According to her, this is critical because of the implication of the fact that whatever is read or heard from the media is regarded as the `gospel truth’.She also said that news sources, on their part as government agencies, stakeholders or part users, must give accurate information on matters of public interest to the media.She called on industry players to assist the media in their job by giving them accurate information about the sector to avoid misrepresentation.