Criticisms trail NPO’s call for proscription of beat associations

Posted by Amechi Obiakpu | 23 November 2017 | 2,072 times

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Criticisms have trailed the call by the Nigerian Press Organisation (NPO) for the proscription of beat associations.

The NPO, which comprises the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), had on Wednesday called for the proscription of beat associations because of what it described as the wanton proliferation of beat associations in the media industry despite the existence of the Union of Journalists (NUJ).

The Executive Secretary of NPO, Feyi Smith, who made the call, had said beat associations constitutes a drawback on the laudable objective of media houses deploying reporters to such outlets, the essence of which is to enhance efficient and independent gathering of news.

But, some journalists believe that the call by the NPO is aimed at craving relevance to the body they believed has since lost its relevance. Others attributed the call to the dictatorial tendencies of people in the corridors of power especially in a society such as ours.

The journalists who would not want their name in print for fear of victimisation described the call as misplaced as it according to them does not address the ills plaguing the pen profession.

“They are not attacking leprosy but running after ringworm. They should first call for the heads of publishers who are not paying salaries! That is the leprosy in our profession,” one journalist said.

Another said: “During the last NUJ election, the chairman visited all the major beat associations, canvassing for votes, now that election has come and gone, they think there is no need to protect beat association”.

One journalist however believed stakeholders in the media industry should be courageous and rise to defend the necessity of beat associations, because the excesses of some place should not result to a blanket ban on all.

“We need to coordinate and send position papers to stakeholders starting with NUJ,” he said.

Source: News Express

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