Online Publishers across Nigeria have been strongly admonished to imbibe professional and ethical standards if they are desirous of gaining public trust.
The call was made on Friday by Dr Oludayo Tade from the University of Ibadan, during a workshop organized by the Southwest Group of Online Publishers (SWEGOP) held at Ilaji Hotel and Resort, Akaran, Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo State.
Speaking further, Dr Tade maintained that it is morally imperative for Publishers to observe the highest professional and ethical standards while carrying out their duties.
According to Tade, “Journalism ethics, no doubt, seek to provide character and integrity to the media profession.
“It is important to ensure that media men are well guided to continue to play their roles through enhanced professionalism and engaging in ethical best practices.
“Putting out news item whose veracity and integrity have established no doubt can erode the trust and credit of any medium.”
The media expert stressed that people depend largely on digital media to create images, form opinions and quite often get guidance on issues.
He maintained that by nature, journalism has a direct impact on individuals, groups and institutions.
“Hence, practitioners have to be guided by some norms in the discharge of their responsibility of transmitting information accurately.
The University of Ibadan lecturer, however, highlighted the strengths of Online Journalism to include: unlimited space, global distribution, convergence (text, graphic and video), interactivity, immediacy and storage of retrieval.
He admonished online media practitioners to jettison reports that lack credibility, opinion-based, lack of ethical values, unbridled sensationalism, unsubstantiated opinions among others.
In his address of welcome, SWEGOP chairman, Olayinka Agboola, described online Journalism as indispensable in enhancing good governance.
He noted that the workshop was needed, considering the contemporary realities in the country.
He added that there is a need for capacity building for Online Publishers to improve on the way they carry out their onerous assignments.
Participants were drawn from Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti while the workshop will be rounded off on Saturday.