The Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN) has set November 1, 2021, as the deadline for each member to empanel an Internal Ombudsman mechanism within the respective member organisations.
NPAN also noted that steps were being quickened to empanel at the industry level, a workable, quick, and responsive system to address public complaints and concerns on missteps by the media and its operatives in line with international best practices.
The association, who disclosed this in a communique made available to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday, titled, ‘Co-regulation, Not Government Regulation’ and signed by the NPAN president, Kabiru Yusuf, said the decision was taken during its well attended executive council meeting in Lagos.
It noted that the Internal Ombudsman will ensure that the news organisation keeps to the canons of journalism practice and the code of ethics.
The association said the Internal Ombudsman will also help to mediate in conflicts stemming from internal or external pressures.
The communique further said the ombudsman will keep news organisations honest and accountable to the public for news reported.
It noted that it will also ensure that the public’s right to know is protected.
The statement reads in part: “The Internal Ombudsman in discharging its responsibilities is expected to work with the following tools: The Nigeria Union Of Journalists (NUJ) Code of Ethics, the canons of journalism practice as encapsulated in fairness, objectivity, balance, accuracy, and completeness (FOBAC).
“The Council resolved to unfold soon, a global Ombudsman structure for the entire industry and the modalities for the same.”
NPAN, therefore, reaffirmed its commitment to responsible journalism at all times.