By Salisu Sani-Idris
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has tasked journalists on promoting patriotism through their reports.
Ms Hadiza Kabir,the Mandate Secretary, Social Development Secretariat of FCTA, made the call at a workshop organised by the Coalition for Good Governance and Economic Justice in Africa on Monday in Abuja.
She said that media practioners can promote patriotism through reporting various developmental strides of government especially in key sectors.
She said that they can achieve the feat while also complying with professional ethics, saying that journalists were required to advance, educate and inform the public on government policies and benefits to them.
In her paper presentation on “Balancing Ethics and Patriotism: The Obligations of Journalists to their Country,” she stressed that media was too critical to be neglected by any nation.
Kabir said that the topic for discourse was apt and timely, saying that Nigerians are at a threshold in their political history.
”Patriotism demands that we seek to act and comport ourselves in such manners as to build and defend our nation and its territorial integrity at all times,”she said.
She said that in addition to setting public agenda, journalists should also engage critical stakeholders in governance to ensure accountability on the delivery of democratic dividends.
She expressed concern that the practice of journalism was becoming an all comers affairs which was affecting professionalism particularly accuracy of news for public consumption.
”Criticisms must and have to be constructive and not destructive, you must learn from the western media that will never do what will jeopardise the cohesion and survival of the corporate existence of their country,”.
She added that journalists should practice their profession in a manner that would not cause harm and social unrest, saying that protecting the integrity of the nation was paramount.