The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) on Wednesday charged journalists to use their news reports to promote national interests and security in the build-up to the 2023 general elections.
Commissioner of Police in Anambra, Mr Echeng Echeng, gave the charge at a training session on Safety and Security Reporting for Journalists organised by the Anambra Council of the NUJ in Awka.
Echeng, who was represented by the police spokesman in Anambra, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, reminded journalists that they were responsible to the public in their reportage.
“Election is a process of transition and continuity and not warfare; therefore, journalists require knowledge, tact and patriotism in reporting it.
“Ensure that you use your news reports to promote national interests and security, and avoid publishing false or fake news.
“Your style of news reporting can make or mar elections.
“You need to verify your stories before going to press so that you do not cause tension in the society or even put your life in danger.
“National interest is more important than any other interest, including public interest; when you protect national interest, public interest will automatically be covered,’’ he said.
In his address, the Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in Anambra, Mr Chikere Chukwudi, urged journalists to be security-conscious on their jobs.
Also speaking at the training session, Mr Enoch Pawa, Deputy Director, Department of State Security in Anambra, urged journalists to cooperate with security agencies during elections.
“As journalists, you have our support. And in preparation for the 2023 elections, security agencies have been meeting to ensure that no life is lost unnecessarily,’’ he said.
In his address of welcome, Dr Emeka Odogwu, Chairman, NUJ, Anambra Council, said the training would equip journalists with tips to cover elections safely.