Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 29 July 2015 | 2,882 times
The newly elected President of the Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ), Mr Waheed Odusile, has advised that media organisations in the country should be left for professionals to run.
He made the plea yesterday on ‘Focus Nigeria’, an AIT programme.
Discussing the topic ‘Crisis in the Media’, Mr Odusile assured that the union, under his leadership, would make a great commitment in seeing to the welfare of its members and settling the issue of salary payment, considering many media houses who are still owing their journalists.
“As a union, we are not interested in what the owners are doing with the government. But it should not be at the expense of the organisations they represent. We are ready to fight any organisation found guilty of this. If they are for us, they have to pay our members well and take good care of their welfare, or else, we will deal with them. It is either you pay our members or you close shop. If any organisation fails to pay our members, we will go into the organisations account and withdraw money for our members.
“So many publishers wined and dined with the government of yesterday and many are still doing same with the government of today, while their outfits are suffering. They have forgotten that their power is the medium itself, which can bring or take them away from the table with the government,” he said.
Speaking further, Odusile argued that journalists are not meant to be treated badly but with dignity just like other professionals in other disciplines. He assured that his administration would initiate some policies to sanitise and upgrade the standards of journalism.
“We will embark on some laws that would not allow media owners to maltreat members. If you know you cannot pay more than two members, why employ 20 persons? We are setting up many things that will make new journalists undergo trainings in our institutes. These people who are well trained in the profession can later go into teaching to impart the knowledge to upcoming ones in our higher institutions,” he also said.
Commenting on the efforts being made in sanitising the social media platforms, Odusile said there is a need for bloggers to be retrained in the act of broadcasting news to the public.
He added: “Bloggers too break news as reputable media organisations, but are very wrong in such process. They fail on the need to cross-check the fact, because facts are sacred. I can say they are not totally irresponsible but ignorant of main things in the practice. And we have to let them know what is right. They have to be retrained as this tend to create employment for some of them.
“NUJ can actually partner with them to create employment for them and that is how we want to bring sanity into the social media system. We are also planning to establish a radio station.”
Commenting on the leadership crisis in the ruling All Progressives Congress, Odusile said: “APC party should look at what Nigeria wants and should not take us back to what it used to be.”
•Photo shows Odusile.
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