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World Press Day: Prof Amadi tasks journalists on environment reporting

Wednesday May 08, 2024 11:44 am



Dean, FCMS, Rivers State University Port Harcourt, Prof. Richard N. Amadi
By NEWS EDITOR
Port Harcourt ,   Education


The Dean, FCMS, Rivers State University Port Harcourt, Prof. Richard N. Amadi has called on journalists to renew commitment acting as both guardians and advocates of  the environment.  

Full Address

A WELCOME ADDRESS PRESENTED BY PROF. R. N. AMADI AT THE 2024 WORLD PRESS DAY CELEBRATION JOINTLY ORGANISED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JOURNALISM AND MEDIA STUDIES AND THE RIVERS    STATE CHAPTER OF NIGERIAN UNION OF JOURNALISTS.

Protocol,

A warm welcome to each and every one of you as we gather here today to commemorate this year’s World Press Day. It is an honour to address such a distinguished audience on this significant occasion, where we explore the theme, A press for the planet: Journalism in the face of the environmental crisis.

The power of the pen, the strength of words, and the vitality of journalism have always played an essential role in our society. Journalists have championed the cause of truth, challenged the status quo, and acted as the fourth estate, hence holding those in power accountable.

Today, as we come together, we must recognize that the world faces an unprecedented challenge - an environmental crisis of alarming proportions. Our planet is in desperate need of our attention, cooperation, and immediate action. It is a collective responsibility as journalists to respond to this crisis, to be the voice of conscience, and to bring the issue to the forefront of public discourse. 

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Nigeria is not left out of the issues of climate change, for instance, we all have experienced if not experiencing the heat waves that have been affecting us for over two years now. Certain regions of the world also have experienced certain changes in their climatic conditions. These changes are hugely under reported by journalists even across the globe. This calls for our collective efforts to save our planet by raising our voices to issues of global warming and climate change.

The theme for this year's World Press Day, "A press for the planet: Journalism in the face of the environmental crisis," emphasizes the pivotal role the press plays in shaping public opinion, mobilizing communities, and driving change. The Journalist must rise to the occasion and use the power of the pen to address the pressing environmental issues facing the world today.

Sadly, the environment is often overshadowed by political conflicts, economic developments, and other issues dominating the headlines. However, it is imperative that we prioritize and integrate the environment into every aspect of our coverage. By doing so, we can raise awareness, inform the public, and inspire collective action through reportage.

Journalists have a duty not only to report on the challenges the country is facing,but also to champion innovative solutions and bring inspiring stories to the forefront. These can be achieved by highlighting the efforts of individuals, communities, and organizations working towards sustainability and environmental preservation, and igniting positive change.

Moreover, the press should actively engage in investigative journalism, holding governments, industries, and individuals accountable for their actions and inactions that contribute to the environmental crisis. Through effective reporting, and other vices will be exposed.

Ladies and gentlemen, the environmental crisis we face today knows no borders, political affiliations, or socioeconomic divisions. It requires collective action, cooperation, and a unified response from all sectors of the society. Without an informed and engaged public, we cannot hope to overcome these challenges and safeguard the planet for future generations.

Today, on World Press Day, let us renew our commitment as journalists to act as both guardians and advocates of our planet. Let us use our words, our stories, and our platforms to amplify the voices of those affected by environmental degradation, to bring their stories to light, and to drive positive change.

I encourage all present here today to make a personal pledge to prioritize and integrate the environment into your reporting, to ask the tough questions, to seek the truth, and to hold those in power accountable for their actions. Together, we can harness the power of journalism to become a force for good and a champion for our planet.

Finally, let us remember the words of Rachel Carson: "The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction." Let us be the press for the planet. 

Thank you.

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