The Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) have received critical endorsement of stakeholders in the media community as its seventh annual general meeting and conference kicks off in Abuja, Wednesday, October 4, 2023.
This is as the stakeholders appealed to GOCOP to lead the war against fake news especially in the online space.
The endorsement came by way of goodwill messages by special guests, partners, top media managers and sponsors who said they had observed the ways of the corporate online publishers in Nigeria over the years.
Leading this seal of support was the Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alamutu, who opened the endorsement gate, saying his singular message to GOCOP was a charge to them to help in the fight against fake news.
He also said newsmen must learn to confirm any information at their disposal before going to town, stressing that he recently suffered the poison in fake news.
The CP used the opportunity to give the three crime flags of Ogun State, namely, land-grabbing, kidnapping, and cultism, but said the command was giving them a big fight.
Supporting the endorsement of GOCOP, the Nigeria Customs Service through its National Public Relations Officer, Abudullahi Aliyu Mai Wada, said most public relations divisions in the armed forces and beyond knew very much about the integrity in GOCOP.
“We hold GOCOP on high esteem and we congratulate you on your first AGM in Abuja, the nation’s capital,” he declared.
His counterpart from the Air Force, Group Captain K. Ali, who is the Deputy Director, Public Relations & Information, Nigerian Airforce Headquarters, Abuja, said the Nigerian Airforce leadership reserved huge respect for online publishers.
Saying it is worth their while to associate with GOCOP on its 7th AGM, he said; “The leadership of the Airforce Public Relations Division is keen on this conference.”
The Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) was not left out of the endorsement galore of GOCOP. The Deputy Commandant, Ndukwu Chidi, representing Director, Media & Advocacy, NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, said online publishers were great allies.
He however noted that there is need for the citizens to be able to differentiate between publishers and mere bloggers or quacks. He pledged continued collaboration, saying; “We continue to work with GOCOP.”
The business sector was not left out as Mrs Ndidi Mbah, GM, Public Affairs, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), who was represented by Mr Eric Ephraim Ene, said they too respect GOCOP members a lot.
“We respect you people a lot. Some of you that we have interacted with at events conduct yourselves creditably,” he said.
Officials from SEPLAT added their voice by disclosing how some GOCOP members had helped to groomed many other media practitioners. As said by the Manager, Corporate Communications (External affairs and Sustainability) at Seplat Energy, Mr Stanley Opara, “Media has helped us a lot. We will do our best to support you. Let us sustain the relationship.”
The Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Leke Bayewu, noted that mentorship is very important. “Many media executives act only as bosses, not mentors, but in GOCOP there are many mentors.”
From Nestle, Victoria Uwadoka, Corporate Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainability Lead, made it clear that media people have emerged as the unelected representatives of the people. “You are the voice of the ordinary people. You people are big stakeholders in the society, whereas GOCOP members stand out.”
In her welcome remarks, GOCOP President, Maureen Chigbo assured stakeholders of the Guild continues support to bring professionalism to play in all their roles.
She explained that the business luncheon with media managers is the preconference segment to enable feddback from media managers, advertisers and sponsors of the yearly conference.
She reminded the masses to note thus; “We are mediapreneurs, not just journalists. You always invite us, so today, we invite you. You cant have this number when you invite us.
“This is also an opportunity for you to meet us one on one. We cherish the relationship we share with you people and we want it on sustainable or long-term basis,” she stated.
Chigbo said online publishing has come to stay. “You need to know that we are not quacks but seasoned professionals. Some of us have managed the regular media houses successfully.
“You have a chance to tell us what worries you have in engaging with the media. You can put a face to the online organisations you interact with you.”
GOCOP, she further said is made up of seasoned journalists of thoroughbred practitioners, declaring that the Guild screens intending members well before admittance, saying there is a peer review process within GOCOP that disciplines erring members.