Ethics of Journalism and Media Credibility In Nigeria: The Way Forward
The press or mass media have been widely regarded as a major institution or segment of the society. That is probably why Lord Macaulay (1800-1859) - an English politician, historian and poet asserted that "the gallery in which the reporters sit has become the fourth estate of the realm. Similarly, the mass media have also been described as the "watchdogs of the society. These metaphors presuppose that the mass media possess certain virtue which sets it apart or makes it qualified to perform certain role which other institutions are incapable of doing. Thus, the need for a proper ethics of Journalism and the unique position the mass media occupy in Nigeria make it obligatory on the press to ensure truth, accuracy, objectivity, fairness, equal opportunity and social responsibility in news content. This is because one's view of ethics to a greater extent constantly plays a vital role in life; and it is in the demonstration of moral values, norms and judgments especially in journalism that life's most important decisions and experiences are weighed and verdicts given. The mass media, therefore, would be highly influential and highly respected if they become valid and reliable 'market place of ideas'.