…Congratulates All Awardees
Honorable Iju Tony Nwabunike, patron of Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON) in his felicitation message to the association on the occassion of it’s 2022 annual conference and awards, has disclosed that the theme for this year which touches on blue economy and automation aligns very much with present reality facing Nigeria and the global maritime sector, hence the need for more research based, investigative and data driven reports.
He said that it could come in form of port by port and country by country comparative analysis on issues such as cabotage financing, port regulation, modernisation, concession, trade supporting infrastructure, recognition of Certificate of Competency (CoC) and others.
Adding that the critical thinking advantage and agenda setting duty of journalists will be lost when practitioners rely only on press releases as their only source of reports, he stated that even though he is not in Nigeria presently to physically participate in the event, he has always followed up on activities through stories and updates on various news websites and social media accounts.
In his words “While commending you for keeping the beat abreast with information, I also find it imperative to urge you on the need for more research based, investigative and data driven reports.
” I implore you to Continue your excellent journalism, and to also retrospectively fact check press releases to confirm their veracity even after reporting the content. What seems true from the angle of a public relations officer, may turn out laced with innuendos after process of journalistic fact checking.
“Please as you step into 2023, imbibe the culture of fact checking. This will enhance your credibility, improve the quality of your followership and make you a more dependable source of information. Not just copy and paste all year round, like some unprofessional journalists that found their ways into this noble family.
“Nevertheless, I doff my cap to all members of AMJON for their contributions and efforts in balancing stories at all times in this maritime industry and beyond. 2023 is again an election year in Nigeria. It is important you continue to place national interest above narrow objectives.
‘As reporters, you have a moral obligation of reporting all sides fairly, truthfully and neutrally as you always do.
Keep this in mind because you are like judges on the pages, websites, blogs ,airwaves and visual space you control.
“We often refer to you as fourth estate of the realm because you are critical to democracy and your function promotes accountability in governance.
“As individuals handling sensitive functions of information, education , entertainment and history(because the news you write today becomes history in future), you have a moral duty to show good examples.
“I implore you to conduct yourselves in the best behaviour acceptable by law and our society, in open and in secret. Do not touch or promote falsehood, sensationalism or blackmail.
“Don’t report a rumour like you witnessed it because you could be called to account for your stories in your page, website, social media accounts and on air.
“Where you publish anything later discovered to be untrue, please retract immediately you realise the mistake. Don’t wait to be reminded by individuals , governments, or corporations, It may be costly.
“I am a regular reader of news here in the US.I keep myself abreast as part of my personal development agenda. Despite the US promotion of democracy and free speech, the American press retracts regularly to be fair to it’s news consumers.
“No individual,institution or country is perfect. I have shown a few examples with New York Times , Washington Post and NBC retracting on recently published articles. This is a norm in your noble job. Utilise it where and when necessary.
“Two maritime journalists (not AMJON members) have crossed the red line of severally publishing and circulating falsehood against my person. I chose to overlook them even when they never retracted. Please avoid such kind of mercenary journalism and continue on the path of integrity and hard work” he quipped.
He hinted that he was very proud of the association as a whole when a member, in person of Muyiwa Lucas won the Nigeria Media Merit Award(NMMA) Maritime Reporter of the Year 2022. The feat which he gladly celebrated with my family and friends in the US.
He however could not curtail his joy to hear that that peoe of timbers and calibers like Chief Henry Njoku, Gen Buba Marwa, Dr George Moghalu and some other notable individuals and organizations have identified with AMJON and honoured with awards.
He added “On behalf of my family and associates, I express our hearty congratulations to all the awardees on the conferment of these honours of excellence on them.
“Chief Njoku is a model of anything good and worthy of emulation in the freight forwarding and logistics chain sub sector of our maritime industry.
‘His experience, expertise and managerial capacity as evidenced in the growth of Harritex Group is second to none.These great attributes have robbed off in organisations like ANLCA where he held several positions and later became BoT Chairman twice.
“Chief Njoku’s effort to further illuminate the CRFFN has not gone unnoticed too, where is currently the vice Chairman of the Board for a second term
“General Buba Marwa has changed the story of NDLEA by fighting the menace of illicit drug trafficking and consumption.
‘The NDLEA under him has proven to be a national asset by relentlessly fighting the destructive business. Consumption of prohibited drugs promote insecurity. Indeed Gen Marwa is on a life saving mission for Nigeria.
“My own brother from another mother, George Moghalu of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) is a trail blazer. He has the touch of legendary King Midas to turn things to gold. I am not surprised at his many achievements in NIWA because I have known him to be a workaholic since over 3 decades ago.
“George will not sleep until he gets something done with distinction. Making our inland waterways viable for economic activities is one area he has never hidden his passion about.
‘He goes about it with a passion to meet requirements of global best practices without compromising our national laws
“These great men, women and organisations being honoured today are dearly welcome to our great AMJON where I am a patron.
“Besides the award presentations and ceremonies that follows, I urge all our awardees to keep shining in their efforts at nation building. We are convinced you have all done well. We also know you can do more better” Nwabunike said.