New co-regulation of ethics to address professional concerns was agreed upon.
At a media roundtable organized by the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) on November 14, 2022, the Nigerian media industry employed the adoption of new co-regulation and code of ethics to contend with ethical and professional concerns. The roundtable discussion was organized in conjunction with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), The Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP), the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), and Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria (BON) and the decision was agreed upon by all organizations.
According to media gurus and operators, the realization of the achievement of the co-regulation and code of ethics depends on a workable enforcement mechanism. Also, the Nigeria Press Organization (NPO) which comprises NGE, BON, NPAN and NUJ would work cooperatively to achieve the effectiveness of the co-regulation system by establishing the ombudsman at local and central levels. This cooperative establishment was embedded in a communique and convened as a strategic response to the threat of institutionalizing self-regulatory media by and for the media.
This communique incorporated a bill of rights to protect journalists.
The signing of the communique was appended by president of NPAN/NPO, Kabiru A. Yusuf; NUJ President, Chief Chris Isiguzo; BON Executive Secretary, Dr. Yemisi Bambgose; NGE President, Mustapha Isah; and GOCOP President, Maureen Chigbo. The communique asserted there must be an avoidance of creating bureaucratic structures with high-cost implications and might eventually become obstacles to the smooth operation of the ombudsman. It was also noted that “Sanctions for the violation of ethical codes and professional standards shall be determined by the ombudsman, guided by the regulation.”
Furthermore, it endorsed the partnership between media professional bodies and associations and media organizations to ensure publicity to decisions made by ombudsman. Concerning the revised Code of Ethics of Journalists in Nigeria, the communique affirmed the incorporation of a bill of rights into the revised code to settle some issues of industry practices that relegates the safety of journalists. Investigative journalism would be protected under this revised code by excluding the public interest as an undercover method of getting information.
Committee developed a self-regulatory platform for the media industry.
Another purpose of the revised code is to differentiate between paid and editorial content to aid the preservation of editorial integrity and an insertion of a new clause to oblige journalists to ensure promotion of the rights of people to know, with the inclusion of freedom of press and responsibility. The major theme of the roundtable discussion was “Pathway to Co-regulation through an Ombudsman Framework”. Presentations made in relation to the theme in two technical sessions.
During the discussion at the event, the Editor in Chief and Senior Vice Chairman of Leadership Group Limited, Mr. Azu Ishiekwene, made a presentation on the report of the NPO Committee which comprises NGE, NPAN, and NUJ which was instituted in May 2021. There was a mandatory development of a framework by the committee to create a self-regulatory platform that is widely trusted, acceptable and workable for the industry, both at the local and central levels.
A revised code of ethics emerged to update the existing one.
The second presentation was made by the Editor in Chief for Diamond Publications and founder of the Diamond Awards for Media Excellence (DAME) Trust Fund, Mr. Lanre Idowu, on the topic “A Guide through the Revised Code of Ethics for Nigerian Journalists”. Revision of the code of ethics was based on the assumption that the existing 1998 code is outdated, not strongly built and naturally general. These assumptions led to the decision of revising the code into a more robust and acceptable one.
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Journalism has been truly bastardize in our country because they churn out some reports and one wonder if true investigation was followed which has reduced the true meaning of journalism in using the 5 w and h to carry out a good report.
Journalists should be accorded a very strong level of respect and dignity. The professional ethics reviewed should ensure they are easily implementable. The Law must also protect them from any form of violation.
The communiqué stated that the updated Code of Ethics for Journalists in Nigeria would include a Bill of Rights to address some difficulties with business practices that put journalists’ safety second-class.
Concerns relating to professional conduct and ethics were addressed by the Nigerian media industry through the implementation of a new code of ethics and a co-regulatory framework.
A functional enforcement system is necessary for the attainment of the goals of co-regulation and the code of ethics so that these goals can be realized.
Reporters and editors deserve the highest regard and decency. If the professional ethics are examined, they should be practical. They need to be shielded from harm by the law.
The Nigerian media sector has responded to concerns about professional behavior and ethics by adopting a new code of ethics and a co-regulatory structure.
For the purposes of achieving the objectives of co-regulation and the code of ethics, it is necessary to have an effective enforcement system in place. Only then will these objectives be able to be accomplished.
The revised code also includes a new clause requiring journalists to ensure the promotion of the public’s right to know, with the inclusion of press freedom and responsibility, as well as a distinction between paid and editorial content to aid in the preservation of editorial integrity.
This revision of code of ethics is seriously needed by the broadcasting community at this time of election because it will bring about check and balancing to the industry.
The existence of a functional enforcement mechanism is necessary for the attainment of the goals of co-regulation and the code of ethics to be realized.
Ombudsmans are responsible for determining the appropriate sanctions for violations of ethical norms and professional standards, with the regulation serving as a reference.
A further objective of the updated policy is to provide a clear distinction between sponsored material and editorial content in order to facilitate the maintenance of editorial honesty.
The amended code’s other goal is to protect journalists’ independence by drawing clear lines between advertising and news stories, and a new provision requires that journalists advocate for the public’s right of access to information.
Respect and dignity ought to be offered to journalists on an extremely high level, and journalists’ professional ethics ought to be examined to guarantee that they may be easily put into practice.
The new co-regulation of ethics to address professional concerns was agreed upon should include the protection of Journalist and it should be enforced.
it is necessary to have an effective enforcement system in place. Only then will these objectives be able to be accomplished.
Most times journalist were not allowed to publish some important information even if it will benefit the masses. When revising the code of ethics for journalist their safety and freedom to write helpful information should be considered.This should be done in collaboration with every necessary groups or agencies and government.
Revision of code of ethics for journalists we don’t really value what we have due o bad government who never encourage anything in this country
Revision of code of ethic for journalist will give them more freedom to publish anything they see is useful and secure of their safety and gain respect and appraisal for the work been done
Journalists deserve the highest level of respect and dignity, and their professional ethics should be thoroughly examined to ensure they can be put into practice.