The need for editors to promote the unity of the country and stimulate economic development were some of the issues on the front burner as the 19th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference opened in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The conference is the largest gathering of the elite of the journalism profession in Nigeria.
The theme of the conference is: ”Stimulating Economic Growth, Technological Advancement: Role of the Media”.
Host governor, Umo Eno, in an address, reiterate the need for journalists to engender good governance in their news reportage to advance Nigeria’s democracy.
“In trying to break the news, don’t break the fabric of the society. We need the society,” Eno said.
The governor said it was important for journalists to engender a new template of reportage that is development-oriented, where leaders are called to account without being overly obtrusive.
“You need the nation first in order to freely practise your profession,” Eno added.
Keynote speaker, Muda Yusuf, chief executive officer of Centre for Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), called on the media to stimulate discussions that would grow the country’s economy.
Yusuf noted that Nigeria is facing challenges including declining reserves, lack of investor confidence and currency volatility and we’ll thought-out reforms were needed, including the critical role the media has to play.
“it is important for the media to be proactive in holding governments to account,” he noted, adding that the media has a role to play in ensuring that reforms would be effectively implemented in the interest of the citizenry.
In a welcome address, President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Eze Anaba, urged members of the Guild to do more to promote citizens’ access to information, pointing out that access to information would enhance participatory democracy and encourage good governance.
“Without access to information, this form of governance is not possible.
“Information creates the opportunity to discuss a range of available options and to take part in meaningful public policy discussions and informed political debates.
“Information allows the public to hold a government accountable by creating a public awareness of the government’s conduct.
“It is for this reason that the theme of this year’s annual conference is: “Stimulating Economic Growth, Technological Advancement: Role of the Media,” Anaba added.