GOVERNOR Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, yesterday, lamented the invasion of the social media by miscreants, whom he said churn out false news and take delight in blackmail, extortion and character assassination.
This came as the South-South Regional Editor, Vanguard Newspapers, Mr. Emma Amaize, was conferred with the NUJ Award as best journalist (print media) of year 2016, amongst other awardees in other categories.
Speaking at 2017 Press Week of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Delta State Council, Okowa noted that individuals, particularly public officers are made to defend themselves against spurious and unfounded allegations.
He said: “I do not know whether it is out of pressure to be relevant or to outdo the new media, some mainstream media are regrettably, beginning to toe the line of the social media in publishing rumours and fictions.
The governor who noted that the theme of the Press Week, Journalists, Social Media and Good Governance, could not have come at a better time, said that the social media had reshaped and redefined the information landscape.
Also speaking, immediate past governor of the state, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, who chaired the event, described the social media as a leveller that provides a platform for everyone to make comments and air his views.
“With the advent of the social media, leaders are now more careful, and being kept on their toes. The advent of social media has made it possible for leaders to be more accountable and some leaders have made effective use of the social media,” he said.
On his part, guest speaker and former Governor of Edo State, Prof. Oserhienmen Osunbor noted that the social media, if well harnessed could be a veritable tool for good governance.
In his remarks, Chairman of the state council of the NUJ, Mr Norbert Chiazor, thanked Uduaghan for providing land and laying the foundation stone for the union’s secretariat.
“We are also deeply grateful to Governor Okowa who developed the secretariat to an appreciable and magnificent level,” he added.