Oba of Benin, his Royal Majesty, Omo Nedo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare 11, on Thursday charged media practitioners to always adhere strictly to the principles and ethical conduct of professionalism in the discharge of their duties for peace, development and harmony in the society.
He said there was the need for journalists to cross check facts available to them and to ensure balance and accuracy by getting all sides in their reportage of events before publishing for public consumption.
Oba Ewuare 11 who stated this during his maiden media chat with journalists in the state which held at the his palace in Benin, the Edo state capital, promised to keep alive the annual feast as espoused by the late father.
He cautioned that the media must shun acts of sensationalism and not to make the profession a commercial venture to be sold to the highest bidder.
He promised to justify the confidence reposed in him as the grand patron of members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Edo state council.
Speaking against the backdrop of te wrieteup by a columnist attached to one of the national dailies (not Daily Times), the monarch said the Benin Traditional Council and the palace took special exception for the unprofessional conduct exhibited by the writer.
He insisted that no one can dictate to the ancient kingdom the history, culture and tradition of the people of the area.
According to him, “We take exception to the newspaper in raising the image of the palace, the profile of the chiefs, that as high the chiefs are that they are the ones manipulating certain things for their interest.
“We feel we should set the records straight. Always confirm your facts to make the atmosphere friendly. We appeal to you to turn a better leave and do better not to deliberately misinform the public. You should verify your facts, be professional with morality and integrity.”
State chairman of the NUJ, Comrade Roland Osakue, lauded the monarch for his fatherly role and for his willingness to continue with the quarterly media parley.
Osakue pledged that the media would partner with the palace towards nation building through promotion and development of culture and tradition of the kingdom.