The Catholic Bishop of Auchi Diocese, Gabriel Dunia, on Sunday called on journalists in the country to shun sensational reporting and always crosscheck facts before going to press.
Dunia made the call during the inauguration of the Catholic Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria (CAMPAN) Diocese of Auchi, Edo.
He said that sensationalism and pejorative news were major challenges hindering the growth and development of the journalism profession in the country.
The cleric said that there was need for journalists to cross-check facts to ensure balance and accuracy in their reportage for public consumption.
“Proper verification of news is key to effective and balanced reportage.
“Apart from misinforming the general public, information not verified and certified is capable of causing crisis among nations and communities,’’ he said
Dunia urged members of CAMPAN to promote journalism of peace that is truthful rather than sentimental journalism.
“Media practitioners are to adhere strictly to the principles and ethics of the profession.
“Quality and objectivity of news by any media organisation determine their viewership; hence the media must always promote the core values of the profession as their service to God and humanity,” the cleric said.
Earlier, the Pro tem Chairman of CAMPAN, Diocese of Auchi, Ellis Alegieuno, said the association was created to teach and inspire media practitioners of Catholic extraction on ways to project their rich worship heritage.
“The association is of catholic extraction and is meant to cross-pollinate ideas on how to project the position of the church through effective information dissemination.
“In the conceptualisation of CAMPAN, the whole idea is to transform and equip media practitioners with required knowledge and information for total emancipation: spiritually, economically, socially and politically.
“It is worthy of note that the church places high premium on communication. That is why among diverse professionals, it acknowledges media practitioners,’’ Alegieuno said.
He called for support for the executives of the association, saying that it would enable them pilot the affairs of the association.
“I humbly request that we should be given the necessary support to meet our aims and objectives of serving this association.
“I use this medium to invite media practitioners to join hands to build CAMPAN Diocese of Auchi,’’ Alegieuno said.