Jos - The General Manager of the Plateau Radio Television Corporation (PRTVC), Sunday Rogo, said on Sunday that journalists covering the lingering crises in Plateau were "not being fair" to the state.
"Most of the reports on the crises are not correct and certainly not fair to the government and inhabitants of Plateau State. When one person is killed, for instance, the reporters will say 50,’’ Rogo stated in Jos.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that such reports had often demonised the state, as the reports and the reality on ground were never the same.
"Sometimes too, a skirmish could occur in one obscure location in a Local Government very far away from the state capital but the journalists will report that the incident took place in Jos.’’
Rogo blamed the situation on journalists, whom he said, stayed far from Jos and who were basing their reports on hear-say and rumours, describing the development as "very sad".
He said that the international media was particularly guilty of such "inaccuracies" and advised people seeking to report correctly to visit the state so as not to feed the public with wrong information.
Rogo said that the crises had lingered simply because the Federal Government and the security agencies had not heeded the alarms usually raised by the Plateau Government.
"When Gov. Jonah Jang complained, at a point that security agencies were playing double-standards, no one listened to him. In fact, some called him names.
"When Jang also complained that foreigners were entering Jos with bad intents, he was accused of hating a segment of the population and ignored.
"But today, all the issues the governor raised are the same complaints from practically all parts of the country. It means that a lot of pains would have been removed if the authorities had taken Jang seriously.’’
He said that government’s efforts toward improving the living standards of the people had also been unheralded, calling for a change of attitude by media practitioners.
The PRTVC boss counselled journalists to always highlight observations by the Plateau authorities, especially the allegations that identity cards of government officers were found at crisis scenes.
He stressed that journalists should also take deep interest in the fate of those arrested as suspects believed to be responsible for midnight attacks on communities, usually "just disappear".
Rogo said that the Plateau Government was expanding and improving the quality of its two media houses – the PRTVC and "The Nigeria Standard" to tell its story and present its correct image.
"The PRTVC is being repositioned to serve as the voice of the voiceless; we are going more international. Equipment in the AM and FM stations are being upgraded to enable us reach a wider audience.
"The state government has made huge investments. Many of the new facilities are still being installed; others are waiting for accessories before installation. Very soon, we shall go very very far.
"The Nigeria Standard’’ also had similar huge investments into it, and expressed the hope that it would soon regain its place as the "voice of the middle belt."
The newly appointed Rogo, who resumed office last month, listed the major problems of PRTVC as low staff morale, a lack of adequate equipment and low revenue generation.
"I met a completely demoralised staff. I have tried to restore that confidence and I am happy that we have succeeded in restoring hope to our staff and our listeners.’’
Rogo expressed hope that PRTVC’s revenue profile would soon improve, noting that major advertisers like MTN had withdrawn their adverts and sponsorship of programmes after a face-off with the State Government.
"We are renewing such good relationships and shall soon be on track toward huge progress,’’ he said.