As the 2019 elections draw near, the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson has charged journalists to be fair, balanced and objective in their reportage of political activities.
Iworiso-Markson, represented by the Director of Information in the ministry, Mr. Chris Odi, gave the charge while speaking at the 2018 Bayelsa Media Awards (BMA) in Yenagoa.
The Information commissioner urged journalists to give everyone equal media space, adding that this is one of the things that “strengthens our democracy and makes the political process exciting”.
Iworiso-Markson, who noted that, the Restoration administration led by Governor Seriake Dickson will continue to support the BMA and indeed the media in the state, said “aside shaping and influencing public opinion and perception, the media sets the agenda and commands respect as an agent of mass mobilisation and change”.
He said he was looking forward to the BMA becoming an international brand that will appeal to big organisations for sponsorship and also attract international participation.
The Commissioner urged companies operating in the state as well as privileged individuals to support the BMA and make it the pride of Bayelsa State.
In his brief remarks, the Supervisor of Media Relations at the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Obinna Ezeobi urged journalists to desist from reporting only negative things about the Niger Delta region which have the capacity of scaring investors away.
Some of the award recipients include; Lishman Onisodemuyan of Rhythm F.M., who got the best presenter award, Tariere Nelson-Abali of Glory F.M., who smiled home with the best voice award, as well as the Niger Delta Television and Glory F.M. that received the best television and radio station awards respectively.
Rise and Shine on Glory F.M. and Science Quiz, showing on NTA were adjudged the best programmes on radio and television while John Odeh of Izon Link, Datonye Alambo of Creek F.M. and Nikade Anderson of the NDTV emerged as best reporters in the print, radio and television categories respectively.
Emem Idio of Vanguard newspapers and Ovieteme George of TVC got an HP laptop and N50,000 each for clinching the NCDMB best report on oil and gas in the print and electronic categories respectively.
The Information Commissioner received a special award of appreciation for his untiring support of the Bayelsa Media Awards.