The Ondo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Donald Ojogo, has urged journalists in the state to ensure they only publish verified stories, especially at a time the COVID-19 is ravaging the world.
Ojogo made the plea in Akure on Friday while declaring open a one-day training programme for journalists in radio stations on mitigating the spread of the coronavirus.
He said that the programme, which was organised by the state government in collaboration with UNICEF, was aimed at sensitising journalists on their roles in the society during the current pandemic.
Ojogo implored journalists to work in line with the ethics of the profession, part of which required the publishing of only verified and accurate stories.
He added that UNICEF and the state government had been collaborating through production and airing of jingles on the deadly virus in order to alert and educate the public on the dangers associated with the pandemic.
“The jingles are produced in various languages spoken by people of the state so that people can understand the messages in the simplest form.
“The role of the media in information dissemination, public enlightenment and education to people at the grassroots and urban areas cannot be underestimated.
“I appreciate media outfits in the state for collaborating with the government by airing the jingles so as to contain the outbreak of the pandemic in Ondo State.
“Measures have been put in place by the state to tackle the virus while it has equally implemented programmes like distribution of palliatives, relief materials, foodstuff, beverages and face masks,” Ojogo said.
The Guest Lecturer and the state’s Director of Epidemiology and Disease Control, Dr Stephen Fagbemi, said there must be changes in the approach to mitigating the spread of the pandemic as there was need to understand the preventive messages properly.