The Supreme Court has urged journalists and media houses to desist from twisting court proceedings in their reportage.
Imploring the media to report accurately on court proceedings, the court said false reportage did not augur well for the country’s democracy as the people got to know what pertained in the courtroom through the media.
The apex court gave the caution yesterday after its judgement on a suit challenging the constitutionality of rules governing the special voting exercise slated for December 1, 2016.
The President of the seven-member panel, Mr Justice William Atuguba, said the role of the media with regard to the operations of the law court could not be underestimated.
“That is why you need to take your role seriously and give accurate reportage,” he stated.
The Supreme Court caution comes on the heels of false information that was circulating on social media and certain mainstream media platforms in connection with the suit challenging the special voting exercise.
Even before the court gave its judgement on the case, the information claimed the court had ruled that results of the special voting exercise should be counted on the day of the exercise.
The false information went viral on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 when the court had actually fixed the date for judgement yesterday.
The actual judgement itself dismissed the case and upheld the Electoral Commission’s position to count and declare the results of the special voting exercise on the main voting date on December 7.
The court was also not happy about certain false reportage on its ruling ordering the EC to extend the nomination period to allow disqualified presidential aspirants to correct mistakes on their nomination forms.
Don’t mislead the public
Mr Justice Atuguba said the media was the fourth arm of government and, therefore, they ought to act responsibly and professionally.
“See yourself as the fourth arm of government and take your job seriously. If you don’t take it seriously, you will mislead all of us,” he said.