The former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has tasked the Nigerian Media to be more responsible and responsive to the unity and the sustenance of the nation’s democracy.
He said this is necessary due to socio-economic and political challenges facing the nation currently.
Chief Obasanjo, who was represented by the former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Professor Peter Okebukola, said this at the maiden edition of the Nigerian Union of Journalist’s (NUJ) National Media Summit with the theme ‘The Media and National Unity’.
Speaking on the topic, Prof Okebukola advised against sensationalism, but was quick to call for fair reportage, honesty and responsible journalism.
The gathering, attended by delegates from the 36 states of the federation, was converged for cross fertilisation of ideas on issues bothering on the profession and national unity.
As the society watchdog, the delegates expressed concern over the recent happenings in the polity and stressed the need to be part of the solutions.
The event was also attended by the representatives of the Minister of Interior, Governor of Kwara State and members of the Ogun State Executive Council.
The Abia state chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalist has organized a one day stress management training lecture for journalists to mark the World Press Freedom of Information day at the council secretariat, Aba Road, Umuahia.
During the training session, the guest lecturer, Dr. Godwin Okafor urged journalists to be at peace with themselves, take things easy despite the increasingly performance expectation and learn to relax.
While the state NUJ chairman, Comrade Hycinth Okoli said that there is need for journalists to explore the section of the constitution regarding the FOI bill to report objectively stating that the training is a way of bringing newsmen together to learn how to work under less stressful environment and urged them to put to use today’s training learning to excuse other peoples lapses.
As the world mark FOI day, there is need for journalist to set their priority right through proper planning, time management, and avoid rush.
The Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ) has asked the national assembly to consider the review of the structure of ownership and control of public media houses in the on-going constitution amendment to give the organisations more editorial independence and make them more accountable to Nigerians.
Speaking at a dialogue of editors on the review of the 1999 Constitution, the president of the NUJ, Mr Muhammed Garba, stated that the review of the acts establishing these media houses have become imperative as there is a need to give them more editorial independence as well as make them more accountable to the Nigerian public and not the government.
The affected media organisations that will be affected with the review will be the Nigeria Television Authority, (NTA), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Others are the Voice of Nigeria (VON) and the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) ACT
According to Mr Garba, parts of the Act that need change is the powers that allow the President to hire and fire in the various public media houses ,this he says will give the organisations more neutrality in the job of discriminating information.
He also demanded a review of the laws on the establishment of media organisation in Nigeria, as he also sought for laws that will make provision for a better welfare for media practitioners.