Press Freedom Day: “Be conscientious with your pen” Speaker Aniekan Bassey
As media practitioners across the world celebrate the 2020 World Press Freedom Day, Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, on Sunday, congratulated journalists in the state for their doggedness, invaluable service to humanity and contributions to the state’s development and progress.
Rt. Hon. Bassey, while urging media practitioners in the state to see press freedom as the freedom of individuals to “be partners in the governance of the state by putting up constructive discourse that will enhance unity, peace and progress,” charged journalists to be conscientious with their pen, strive to operate within the law, be meticulous and factual in their reportage.
“This year’s ceremony, themed ‘Journalism Without Fear or Favour,’ is apt and shows the prime place of the media in global, national and state development. It is only the journalism profession that has a day set aside internationally to celebrate its practitioners. To further underscore the importance of the media, our Constitution granted some responsibilities and specific freedom to the press in Section 22 and 39. For this reason, I celebrate all of you and I feel proud to be your partner. I sincerely commend the indelible role of the media in our collective fight against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Akwa Ibom State,” he added.
The Speaker said though the advent of the social media has made everyone a journalist, the real practitioners must not throw to the wind “the sacred duty and responsibility to be fair to all, to adhere to truth and to consciously work for the unity, progress and development of their immediate and larger communities” as enshrined in the Constitution.
Rt. Hon. Bassey, therefore, appealed to media practitioners in the state to always abide by the ethical principles of the journalism profession in the discharge of their duties.