Renowned journalist and former Editor of Daily Times Newspapers, Chief Simon Shango, has blamed the management of Daily Trust Newspaper for breach of code of practice for journalists over its recent report on troops’ operation in Baga, Borno.
Chief Simon Shango, a former publicity secretary of the defunct National Party of Nigeria, NPN, also frowned at some foreign interests who were fast to condemn the military’s reaction to the issue as agents of destabilization who want to keep their country yet think Nigeria is good to be on fire.
The elder statesman said the newspaper must tender unreserved apology to the military authority over the report.
Daily Trust and the Nigeria Army recently clashed following the former’s story detailing the movement of the troops fighting insurgents in south east Nigeria.
In a statement issued on Friday, the respected writer insisted that Daily Trust did not only breach the code of conduct guarding the noble profession, but acted against national unity and the public good.
According to him, “The unfortunate events that followed the invasion of the offices of Media Trust Limited, publishers of the Daily Trust titles might have settled, but the dust that it generated has settled on the integrity of the profession in Nigeria.
“As a one-time Editor of one of Nigeria’s flagship newspaper, the Daily Times, I know for a fact that editorial content must not at any point threaten our National Security.
“It is therefore my considered opinion that the editorial by Daily Trust Newspapers is a breach of the code of conduct for journalist because journalism entails a high degree of public trust and to earn and maintain this trust, it is morally imperative for every news medium to observe the highest professional and ethical standards.
“In the exercise of these duties, media houses should always have a healthy regard for the public interest and strive to enhance national unity and the public good.
“Having stated the above, could it be said that the editorial analysis of Daily Trust was in line to enhance national unity and public good? Have they indicated that they have a healthy regard for the public interest? The answers are no!
“I, therefore, state in unequivocal terms that Daily Trust did not only breach the code of conduct for conduct for journalists, it also either by commission or omission acted against national unity and the public good.
“I condemn the publication in its entirety as well as the line editors that approved it for publication without recourse for its implication for National Security.
“Consequently, I demand an unreserved apology from the management of Media Trust Limited, publishers of the Daily Trust titles to the Nigeria Army, and by extension the government of Nigeria for undermining National Security as well as bringing the media profession into disrepute.”