The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has recommitted itself to creating the enabling and sustainable environment that upholds press freedom and protection of journalists’ rights to ensure the sustainability of democracy and good governance.
It also said being conscious of its constitutional and social responsibility, its commitment to professionalism will help shape the narratives, influence public opinion, and help forge a society that thrives on transparency, inclusivity, justice and a system of government that is accountable to the citizens.
The NGE, which is the professional body of all editors in Nigeria, stated these at the end of its two-day national biennial convention in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
In a communique signed by its new President, Eze Anaba, and the General Secretary, Iyobosa Uwugiaren, the editors added that in a rapidly evolving media landscape, where information flows at an exceptional pace, the role of journalism in shaping good governance and democracy has never been more crucial than now.
‘’We, as journalists, bear the enormous responsibility of providing accurate, reliable, and unbiased news to the public, thereby fostering transparency, accountability, and public participation in the affairs of our nation.
‘’The 2023 general elections marked a decisive turning point for our nation’s democracy. And as we embark on this new phase, it has become very necessary that editors – as gatekeepers, recommit themselves to the highest standards of professionalism, ethics, and integrity. We must be the precursors of truth, holding those in power accountable; while providing a platform for diverse voices and perspectives,’’ the editors stated.
Examining the role of journalists in the 2023 general elections at the convention themed, “Post 2023 Election: Promoting Professionalism for Enhancement of Democracy and Good Governance”, and which was attended by 400 editors cutting across the print, broadcast and online media, editors recommitted themselves to the watchdog role in ensuring that public office holders are closely monitored in order to live up to the expectation of the people.
The NGE added, ‘’To achieve this, we must prioritise continuous professional development and capacity building. As journalists, we should strive to stay updated on emerging trends, technological advancements, and ethical standards within our industry. This national convention serves as a demonstration to our shared commitment to excellence and the pursuit of knowledge.
‘’We intend to collaborate and foster partnerships not only within our ranks but also with other stakeholders in the democratic space; engaging with civil society organisations, government agencies, and international bodies in order to build bridges and intensify our mutual impact. By doing so, we will be in strategic position to continue to create an enabling environment that upholds press freedom, protection of journalists’ rights, and ensures the sustainability of democracy and our profession.’’
The editors praised Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, who declared the elective convention open, for creating the conducive environment for its success.
The peaceful elective convention saw Mr Anaba, the Editor of Vanguard Newspaper, securing 250 votes to emerge as the new President. He defeated his only opponent Bolaji Adebiyi, executive editor, Western Post, who polled 81.
Other members of the new executive elected include, Husseina Bangshika, Deputy President; Sheddy Ozoene, Vice-President (East); Umoru Ibrahim, Vice-President (North); Kabir Alabi Garba, Vice President (West); Iyobosa Uwugiaren, General Secretary; Gabriel Akinadewo, Assistant General Secretary; Steve Nwosu, Treasurer; and Charles Kalu, Social/Publicity Secretary.
Other standing committee members elected are: Onuoha Ukeh, Paulyn Ugbodaga, Oluwole Sogunle, Dom Isute, Rose Moses, Chinedu Egere and Mohammed Jibril.