NUJ Advocates Enabling Law To Practice Journalism

NUJThe Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has asked the Senate to enact a law regulating the practice of journalism in Nigeria.

The NUJ President, Mr Waheed Odishile, made the request on Monday while meeting with the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, at the National Assembly in Abuja.

Mr Odishile condemned the commonplace practice where media practitioners were owed salaries spanning months.

He sought the assistance of the National Assembly in order to end this common practice.

In his remark, the Senate President agreed with the NUJ President, saying there must be a law in place to guarantee an enabling environment for media professionals to practice.

US Embassy Trains Govt. Spokespersons On Information Management

US EmbassyThe United States Embassy in Nigeria has called on the spokespersons of governors of the 19 northern states of the country not to withhold information about government activities from the public.

This was at a 2-day workshop it organised for the spokespersons in collaboration with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), in Kaduna State, North West Nigeria.

The essence of the workshop was to assist the participants to refine and learn new techniques on effective press office operations, with particular emphasis on countering radical narratives and creating a strong network of spokespersons throughout the government of Nigeria.

In his speech, the U.S Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, explained the importance of unfettered access to information in the development of democracy and promotion of good governance.

He said that the training would assist the participants to discharge their functions effectively.

Addressing the participants, the Guest Speaker and an America-based Media Consultant, Eduardo Cue, said that the essence of the workshop was to update the skills of the government’s image makers and to also shape the public knowledge of government through the media.

In his address, the NUJ President, Mr Abdulwaheed Odusile, said that the spokespersons were critical in making the government activities open and accessible to the people.

He stressed the need for government officials to exhibit honesty, transparency and collaborate with the media on information dissemination and management.

On his part, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, who was represented by his deputy, Bala Bantex, charged the spokespersons to make available to the public, the activities of the All Progressives Congress (APC) government at all levels.

Some of the participants said that the workshop would enable them to understand the best ways of managing information as it relates to the activities of their various state governments, and most importantly on how to relate with the media and the public in general.

At the end of the workshop, it is expected that the government spokespersons would be able to make decisions that will satisfy the public interest and their employers, as well as their personal values and professional standards.

Union Seeks Better Welfare For Journalists

pressOwners of media organisations in Nigeria have been asked to improve the welfare of their employees and also ensure there is a life insurance policy for them.

The President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Mohammed Garba, made the appealed on Monday, as Nigeria joins other countries to mark the World Press Freedom Day.

The NUJ President also warned security agencies and politicians to stop further harassment and intimidation of journalists while performing their official functions.

Mr Garba was spoke to Channels Television on Monday during a seminar to mark the World Press Freedom Day in Kaduna themed “Let Journalism Thrive Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality and Media Safety in Digital Age”.

He also lamented that many journalists in Nigeria had suffered one form of brutality or harassment in the hands of security agencies, politicians and individuals while discharging their constitutional duties.

The NUJ President extolled the contribution of journalists in deepening the nation’s democracy, but expressed sadness over government’s poor implementation of the Freedom of Information Act.

During the last general elections in Nigeria, many Journalists were brutalised while covering campaign rallies and election.

Every year, May 3 is set aside as World Press Freedom Day. A date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom and to defend the media from attacks on their independence, as well as paying tribute to Journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

The date serves as an occasion to inform citizens of violations of press freedom – a reminder that in dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while Journalists, Editors and Publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered.

NUJ Warns of Boko Haram Spread Truncating 2015 Polls

Mohammed_GarbaAhead of the 2015 general elections, the National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mohammed Garba, has expressed fears that the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east is capable of spreading to other parts of the country and thereby truncating the polls if the the Federal and State Governments do not take an urgent steps to end the it.

The NUJ President, who stated this at a news conference in Kaduna on the state of the nation, said that there was an urgent need to end the spate of bombings and killings going on daily in the North East and other northern states.

He noted that a lot still needed to be done by the Federal Government towards ending the Boko Haram insurgency that had crippled economic and social activities, especially now that the nation is preparing for another election next year.

Garba also called on security forces to review their tactics in the fight against terror, with a view to identifying areas to make amends, as well as adopting new and best techniques to tackle the problem.

He also reiterated the willingness of the Nigerian media to collaborate with all agencies of the government towards finding a lasting solution to Nigeria’s security challenges.

Members of a terrorist group, Boko Haram, have carried out series of attacks on villages, churches, schools, public places and mosques and had declared a town in Borno State, Gwoza, an Islamic State, a claim that the Nigerian government said was untrue.


NUJ seeks editorial independence for NTA, FRCN and others

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.