The Bishop on the Niger, The Rt Rev Dr Owen Chiedozie Nwokolo, has lauded what he described as the enermous social engineering responsibilities of the Nigerian media, underscoring what numerous functions he said the media engage in, in order to make the society tick.
He explained that the media in the country play important roles, especially in bringing about certain political, economic and social changes, adding that without the media, certain things would neither occur nor work well in the society.
Bishop Nwokolo stated these at Bishop’scourt, Episcopal House, GRA, Onitsha Tuesday, when the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, Anambra State Chapter paid him a courtesy visit.
He had, while responding to the speech by the Chairman of the union, Dr Emeka Odogwu, said that though the place of the media in the country could not be over emphasized, the media could nevertheless, not afford to gloss over sound Journalism founded on truth, discipline and quality reportage.
He charged Nigerian journalists to always be consistent in fighting injustice, falsehood, as well as to make people get the truth all the time, saying, “nothing can surpass the truth, once the truth is told, lies will fly away.”
The bishop specifically advised the Anambra State NUJ executive and its members to always be diligent and avoid irrelevancies and frivolities advising them, “This time is not for laxity or anything casual. I encourage you to be more professional and very highly disciplined, working with proper ethics and ensuring that our society is covered well with sound Journalism without bitterness and rancour”.
Bishop Nwokolo further encouraged them to continually work as a team, reminding them that there is always one pilot or driver at a time, otherwise that there would be a crash.
“You have to work together, every one playing one’s own part so that God will help you to make some enduring impacts in the lives of the people. Don’t close your eyes when you see things going bad or not working well, if you do so you will betray the confidence which the society places on the media and thereby bringing yourself to ridicule.
“The society expects you to be truthful, honest, and principled in your reportage of people and events. We always assure you of our prayers and support”, the bishop assured them.
He promised that he and the Diocese on the Niger would support the union’s Media Heads Summit project proposed to hold in a few months time, pledging, “We are interested and would want to work with you. We want to support you and see that this executive succeeds and will make sure that the Anambra state NUJ is the best in Nigeria”.
Earlier in his speech, Dr Odogwu had introduced members of the executive explaining that the purpose of their visit was to commend the bishop for what he called the bishop’s unmatchable spiritual and physical landmarks which he said the bishop had caused in the diocese since his Episcopacy.
Dr Odogwu promised that the union was always willing, able and available to give the diocese effective media coverage, pleading with the bishop to allow journalists in the diocesan media houses to join the union by forming their own chapel.
In a brief vote of thanks, the Deputy Chairman of the union, Mrs Ngọzi Obileri, appreciated the bishop for giving them warm reception and also thanked him for various promises which the bishop made to the union and reiterated the union’s pledge to always offer the diocese effective and penetrating media support.
Reported by Alex Uzoigwe