Communications expert drills journalists on expectations, challenges in reporting oil/gas sector

Posted by Effiong Udousoroh, Uyo | 30 August 2015 | 4,887 times

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A communications expert/media relations consultant, Mr. Goddy Ikeh, has identified the constraints, as well as solutions associated with oil and gas reportage in the oil and gas producing areas of the country.

Mr. Ikeh, was presenting his paper titled “The Role of The Media on The Environmental Challenges in Oil and Gas Producing Communities” at a two-day workshop organised “for all journalists in Akwa Ibom State” by Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, ANAK Ventures and Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Akwa Ibom State Council, in Uyo.

The communications expert listed the constraints to include, “lack of necessary tools, inadequate training, unfriendly terrain, and absence of specialisation, insecurity of jobs, pressures from government, oil companies, employees, self censorship, ethical issues and beat associations.”

He mentioned some of the solutions to include “providing necessary tools and support, mobility, as well as improved wages and job security.”

Mr. Ikeh, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Fortworth Communications Agency, Lagos, named the environmental issues as, gas flaring, coastal erosion, agricultural land degradation, flooding, fisheries depletion, deforestation, biodiversity loss, water hyacinth proliferation, toxic and hazardous wastes, oil spillage and pollution, sewage disposal, solid waste disposal and health hazards.

He stated that the role of the media in the sector should be, creating awareness, mobilising the community for participation, mass education, prompt reporting of environmental issues, effects on communities, economy and health, liaison with stakeholders-federal and state government agencies, relevant NGOs, community leaders, as well as writing special reports, features and news analysis.

The media expert also maintained that under the media role, stories must be factual, accurate, clear, balanced, concise, interesting, current, impartial and timely.

He explained that the most reliable and ready news sources for the media were, reports, news agencies, contacts, news diary, check calls-oil companies, NGOs, state and local government, departments/regulatory agencies, oil companies and oil unions, press releases/press conferences, newspapers, Radio, Television, NNPC and UN agencies.

Other news sources, he listed, included, new policies, reactions to policies, budgets, development projects, seminars, workshops and training programmes, newsletters, circulars, resource materials, as well as Internet/Websites/Google.

Mr. Ikeh expressed his “special thanks to Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, Anak Ventures, for sponsoring the training session and the state NUJ, for organising it.”

News Express reports that other communications experts who also served as Resource Persons at the workshop, were, Prof. Des Wilson of the University of Uyo, Mr. Lawrence Mgbe Mpama of the University of Cross River State, Calabar, and Chief Nduese Essien, a former Federal Legislator and former Minister of Housing and Urban Development, while the moderator of business session of the workshop was Dr. Aniekan-Abasi Nkana of the Department of Communication Arts, University of Uyo (UNIUYO).

•Photo shows Goddy Ikeh.

Source: News Express

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