The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins, has charged journalists to deepen the practice of the profession and help eradicate fake information by reporting merely details according to findings, interaction with individuals and their particular experiences.
Martins gave the charge in a mass held in the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos, to mark the World Day of Communications with the theme come and see’.
A party is a yearly event set aside from the Holy See to celebrate media professionals and also the important role they play in fostering peace and unity throughout the world.
The archbishop, who spoke with newsmen, said the party gives an opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of media professionals and serves as a venue for them to re-dedicate themselves to the integrity of the profession and the dedication required of them.
He commended journalists for making efforts to make sure that diverse news is attracted to the people, even at significant personal risks and encouraged them to report factual events so that individuals who have a duty to take care of those concerns are ensured that they are receiving truthful accounts.
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The cleric, who found that the Internet is a veritable instrument for ensuring that individuals express their personal experiences, cautioned that there’s a danger when people use this possibility in a negative way of spreading fake information and generating undue tension which is inimical to the well-being of these folks.
He explained that professionals must ensure that any information put out wouldn’t go contrary to the welfare and safety of these people.
“We shouldn’t detract from that obligation that has been given to us,” he stated.
Talking about insecurity in the country, Martins said that non-state actors should not be permitted to exploit lapses from the country’s security structure as that could portend a great threat to the well-being of the nation.
He urged authorities to ensure that security agencies are encouraged with materials, monies and other items to improve morale and give them the push to handle security challenges head-on.
In addition, he advised faith-based organisations to keep on appealing to the conscience of these people and their followers to make sure that the message of the scriptures isn’t just shot at face value, but put to practice.