Publishers of the Lagos Metropolitan newspaper, Henkmedia Connect Limited (the Company), are aware of their obligation to create and implement an editorial policy that will allow the newspaper and its website to fulfil their responsibilities as members of “The Fourth Estate,” a crucial part of our democracy.
The Company acknowledges that, even though a newspaper should function as a for-profit business, Lagos Metropolitan behaves more like a public trust for the benefit of its stakeholders and plays a significant role in the political and legal systems compared to other companies.
As a result, while the Company’s primary goal is to maximise returns for shareholders, its directors understand that Lagos Metropolitan also has a responsibility to its readers, the communities they serve, and the press freedom that is a fundamental element of our civil liberties.
The Directors also understand that reporting on how those institutions function in the public interest is a responsibility that comes along with the rights and privileges given to the newspaper’s journalists by the political and judicial institutions of the country. To fulfil this obligation, the newspaper must reach the broadest cross-section of its communities, uphold the highest values and traditions of journalism and the English language, and instruct young people in the concepts and practices of journalism.
The Company has set up broad criteria for the kind of newspaper it thinks will best fulfil this mission and has created a set of moral standards that its newspapers must adhere to.
This in no way shows that the firm interferes with the editorial staff’s daily operations.
In all news reporting and presentation, Henkmedia Connect Limited expects its reporters and editors to uphold the values of objectivity, fairness, and balance.
The Company expects that its newspapers will be inquisitive, sceptical, honest, courageous, and forthright.
All news reports should clearly distinguish between fact and comment. Every effort should be made to ensure the accuracy of reports, and significant errors should be corrected as soon as possible.
When using visual images in the publication, it is imperative to give the due credit, even if they have been digitally edited.
No editorial staff member shall be compelled to interfere in any manner with another’s private suffering. The papers stand for the ambitions of all residents of the Lagos Metropolitan Area and, in fact, the entire nation, with special respect to the diversity of the country.
They should be involved in the community and recognise their important role in encouraging excellence in all aspects of community life.
At the same time, they must recognise their disadvantage.
Commercial considerations must not take precedence over editorial decisions.
The employment of any member of the staff who accepts any inducement from a third party in exchange for writing or presenting a report or photograph will be ended at once.
Plagiarism will not be condoned.
In Nigeria, where the company operates, press freedom is still a shaky concept. It is not expressly enshrined in law and is almost entirely dependent on public support. This support will only dwindle if the public loses faith in the media as fair, honest, and trustworthy sources of information.