The Nigerian Press Organisation (NPO) has floated a new Ombudsman mechanism, with a view to strengthening public confidence in the Nigerian media.
To this end, NPO on Wednesday announced a nine-man board of the National Media Complaints Commission (NMCC), otherwise known as the National Ombudsman.
This is contained in a statement issued by President of NPO, Kabiru Yusuf and copied The NewsZenith in Lagos.
Yusuf, who doubles as the President of the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN) stated that the commission “is a major step by the industry to strengthen public confidence in the media”.
He said that NMCC would promptly attend to and resolve issues relating to ethical breaches in media content.
The NPO comprises the NPAN, the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
It mid-wife the process with other strategic media players and civil society, especially, the MacArthur Foundation.
Members board of the NMCC are drawn from the media, bar, academia and civil society.
Mr Emeka Izeze, former Managing Director of The Guardian Newspapers is the chairman of the board.
Members include Mr A. B. Mahmoud (SAN) former President of the Nigerian Bar Association and Prof Chinyere Stella Okunna, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic,) Paul University, Abia State and Dr Hussain Abdu, a Development & Humanitarian Specialist and Country Director, Care International (Nigeria).
Others are Mr Lanre Idowu Editor-in-Chief, Diamond Publications Ltd. and Founder, Diamond Awards For Media Excellence (DAME) and Mr Edetaen Ojo – Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda (MRA).
Mrs Dupe Ajayi-Gbadebo, (Journalist, Lawyer and Arbitrator) and Mrs Eugenia Abu – Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Information are also on the board.
“The commission will serve as an independent forum for resolving complaints about the press quickly, fairly and free of charge.
“It will maintain high standards of Journalism, journalistic ethics and defend the freedom of the press and the rights of the people to know.
Prior to this announcement, each media house was expected to have instituted a local ombudsman.
The National Ombudsman will now serve as an appellate body for the local ombudsman and court of first instance.
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