The energy reporters promotes and galvanizing the resolve of the people in achieving progress, development and meeting contemporary challenges.
Goddy Ikeh, A communications expert/media relations consultant and also Chief Executive –CE-, Fortworth Communications Agency stated this at Orchid Hotel, Lekki, Lagos.
The themed of A-3 day seminar: “The Role Of Energy Reporters In Oil And Gas Sector” was held on Thursday through to Saturday of the week.
Ikeh in his usual way said serving as stokers of equity, responsible and accountable players and stakeholders by providing viable information about development in the sector like a forum for expression by marginalized groups which serve as de facto ombudsmen for people to complaints and without hiding their grievances.
“Independent and first hand reporters of news serve as mirrors of reality for information, education and entertainment.
He pointed out that these reports play crucial role in creation of institutions that are transparent, responsive, capable and accountable thereby providing information needed by the people to participate in debates and decisions that shape their lives coping with poor budget for media development.
Ikeh took time to lay out the format of every report and how it should have three expectations below:
Governance Impact – How your roles have impacted society and good governance – exposure of
Corrupt practices, oil field allocations, activities of the NDDC and agitations in the Niger Delta
Economic Impact: Information needed for investments by stakeholders, governance monitoring, and crude oil theft
Social Impact – Need for sustainable development which requires participation of citizens in the sector, especially in supplying information that will help citizens to change their behavior towards host oil companies.
National Association of Energy Correspondents –NAEC- has been able to meet some of these expectations from the people and the industry players despite the harsh operating environment.
It was pointed out that developments in the association should be increase in membership and interests of development partners and support of major oil companies testify to these accomplishments.
However, the expert was of the opinion that absence of investigative reporting, Poor Working Condition and sourcing of Stories are now a big issue to be tackled.
Therefore, he suggested that collaboration with industry players to expanding areas of coverage in environment, gas, NDDC activities
Others way are through establishing more news sources and creating state chapters of NAEC which including extending training facilities.
Reporters are urges to follow up stories like Refineries stories and targets set by government, NNPC’s new business focus, NNPC’s new partnership with NAN on Pipeline vandalism.
For instance Nigeria-Morocco pact on gas pipeline is a hot story to be followed to the logical conclusion.
While doing all that every reporter should observe social responsibility inline with ethical issues for effective reportage adding that an ethical issue is key of every report.
“When you discharge your duties creditably, it will lead to increases in awareness and changes in behavior across socio-economic issues. The information you provide can influence public opinion, lead to policy changes in the sector and the entire economy. In addition, your role in governance monitoring will enable citizens to hold government, politicians accountable.”