Nigerian Bishop calls for “responsible journalism”.

Bishop Matthew Kukah

Nigerian Bishop, Matthew Hassan Kukah, Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, has called upon Catholic journalists in Nigeria “to champion the cause of responsible journalism in reporting violence and crisis without jeopardising the integrity and sovereignty of the Nigerian nation.”

Bishop Kakah made the call at the opening of the first 2017 plenary meeting of the Association of Diocesan/Religious Directors of Social Communications in Nigeria. The meeting had, as its theme, The Nigerian Media: The Ethics of Reporting Violence in Nigeria.

According to the Catholic News Service of Nigeria (CNSN, April 7, 2017), the plenary featured “presentations on different aspects reporting violence and crises with emphasis on respect for professional ethics, protection of the sovereignty and integrity of the citizens of the country.”

CNSN reported that Bishop Kukah advocated – as well as reporting responsibly – that journalist also need “continuous formation and updating of their professional abilities and competence to enable them to be conversant with modern techniques… as well as be in consonance with the social communications ethics [and] guidelines of the universal Church.”

In a clear reference to ‘Fake News’ in a ‘Post-Truth’ era, when traditional journalism has come under attack, the Bishop of Sokoto noted “the absence of control and observance of professional ethics; as most often the sources of information posted on the social media are anonymous and cannot be identified.”

He told the gathering: “we need to educate ourselves more to enable us create an ethical basis for journalists and the profession of journalism to be respected…”

He urged the directors to be more forthcoming in reaching out with the position of the Church on both socio-economic, political and religious matters as they affect the country with the ultimate goal of “educating and informing the people correctly and ensuring stability, harmony and peaceful coexistence of the people of the country, irrespective of their differences.”

You may access the full Catholic News Service of Nigeria report by clicking here:

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