Mr David Akinremi, the new Commissioner of Police, Taraba Command has advised journalists to adhere strictly to the principle of balance reporting as enshrined in the ethics of their profession.
Akinremi gave the advice on Tuesday when the new leadership of the Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) paid him a courtesy visit in Jalingo.
He said journalists must always make sincere efforts to reach out to all parties concerned in any report, rather than saying “the source could not be reached for comment.”
“You have the responsibility to give a fair hearing to all parties involved in a story, and I assure you that no responsible officer will deliberately decline comment on issues of national security.
“Yes, catchy stories are necessary for the media, but such stories must be in tandem with facts in every responsible journalism,” Akinremi said.
The police boss further urged journalists to have flair for investigative journalism and to always clarifying and verifying news scoop before publication.
“Your profession talks about fairness and neutrality, you must thrive to be neutral.’’
He said newsmen were critical stakeholders in crime prevention and management, especially in a state like Taraba where violence could easily erupt with the slightest provocation.
“I enjoin you to assist in educating the public on the need to eschew violence and live in peace with one another as no meaningful development can be achieved without peace.”
Earlier, the Chairman of the chapel, Mr Wole Ayodele, said the visit was for members of the chapel to familiarise with Akinremi.
He noted that the working relationship between the police command and the media had always been cordial and urged the new police commissioner to sustain and enhance the tempo.
Ayodele, however, implored Akinremi to ensure that vital information regarding criminal activities was always given to journalists, in good time, to avoid speculation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the executive of the chapel accompanied the chairman on the occasion.