From Austine Tule, Makurdi
Nonviolently Peace Institute and Absolute Press (AP) have called for the repeal of the Official Secret Act which is in conflict with the Freedom of Information Act.
This was contained in a communique signed by the Secretary, Communique Drafting Committee, Mr Richard Uleve and issued to newsmen on Tuesday in Makurdi.
The statement stated that the organisations organised a one day workshop for journalists in Benue on National Stability Reportage.
The organisations further called for the review of other aspects of the freedom of information act that leave journalists in the cold to allow the flow of information to meet the speed and accuracy with which journalists operate.
It also called on the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), to urgently set machinery in motion to eliminate non journalists pretending to be practicing journalism and spreading misinformation on social media.
According to the statement, the organizations further urged NUJ to employ stringent measures to stem the ugly trend.
It further called for synergy between media practitioners and security agencies in order to overcome existing mistrust between the two institutions thereby promoting better understanding in the performance of their duties.
It also called on the National Assembly to as a matter of national security, revisit the Social Media Bill in collaboration with the NUJ, with a view to sanitising journalism practice in Nigeria.
“Government institutions, politicians and other newsmakers who are known to be patronising non journalists who call themselves citizens journalists, to discourage quackery in journalism profession in Benue state ,in particular, and in Nigeria in general,” it stated.
It further encouraged journalists to always report factually and avoid speculations, assumptions as well as falsehood.
“Journalists should rise above other considerations to promote national interest in their reportage and must not allow themselves to be used by enemies of the state to cause disaffection in the country.
“Media organisations, both private and public should take the welfare of Journalists seriously to avoid compromises.