The Administrator of the National Judicial Institute (NJI), Abuja, Justice Salisu Garba Abdullahi (rtd), on Wednesday, advised journalists to provide the reading public with balanced reporting and avoid fake news.
Justice Abdullahi made the appeal during his welcome address at a 2-day workshop organized by the institute for judiciary correspondents on Wednesday in Abuja.
The retired judge said, “there was need for judiciary correspondents to maintain fair and balanced reportage of judicial
proceedings especially in these trying times when fake news is commonly peddled via social media.
“The pen they say is mightier than the sword. You will therefore agree with me that biased reportage would certainly ignite unobjective responses in the polity and this would be at variance with the tenets of a democratic society,” Abdulahi said at the workshop tagged ” Pursuing Media Service Excellence for Optimal Productivity in the Judiciary”
Abdulahi observed that the journalists’ role in portraying the judiciary in good light directly impacts upon public opinion and public confidence.
He urged journalists to continually be guided by the dictates and ethics of journalism, saying this will no doubt promote media excellence which in turn will deepen optimal judicial productivity.
“It is important that I emphasize the need to remain unbiased as journalists and as judiciary correspondents.
“Therefore, the desire to ensure that you are at par with your contemporaries in other climes, in line with best global best
practice remains a task that all stakeholders must close ranks to achieve” the administrator said.
On his part, the Secretary of the National Judicial Institute, Barrister Abdullazeez Olumo, charged journalists to keep the public informed through objective and factual reportage to reduce negative perception of the judiciary.
He wondered why some litigants, knowing they don’t have a case, would still proceed to the court.
The secretary encouraged reporters to stay on the facts and law while avoiding sensationalism.
“Evidence, Facts, and law play key roles in hearing and determination of an issue before the court. When you juxtapose these three issues and present a good case in court, definitely you will get justice.
“What you give to the court is what you get back. The court is not a Father Christmas that gives you what you did not ask of.
“It is only the judiciary Correspondents that can do this and we enjoin you to continue to be objective, and unbiased while shunning sensationalism in the discharge of your reportage,” the NJI secretary stated.
NJI Administrator Tasks Journalists On Balanced Reporting is first published on The Whistler Newspaper