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Publisher tasks media organisations on care, development of journalists

Publisher tasks media organisations on care, development of journalists

The Chairman of Daily Trust Newspapers, Malam Kabiru Yusuf, has urged media organisations to improve in the care, development and protection of their reporters to enhance professionalism devoid of unprofessional conduct.

Yusuf made the call at a media roundtable on Sunday in Abuja.

The roundtable with the theme: “The Accountability Imperative: Holding Politicians Feet to the Fire”, was organised by FrontFoot Media Initiative.

FrontFoot Media is a non-profit organisation established to advance the development of media practice in Nigeria and Africa via qualitative and effective journalism.

According to Yusuf, journalism is not based on speculations but fact checks.

“Journalists are not trained, they don’t have insurance cover. Some media houses have fizzled out. If you do good journalism, and guarantee your audience, your audience will pay,” he said.

He said that the way out of the problem was to build a credible organisation that takes care of journalists.

“Build journalists that see themselves as professionals and not to use it to become appointees of the government.

“Just like some businessmen that will abandon their businesses and join the government,” Yusuf said.

He said that power and truth does not seem to be on the same page, adding that journalism is a place where one is expected to make a handsome living.

“If it is a profession that you don’t have to make money, why then do we go into it. However, some use the profession for other purposes.

“If there is the right environment, there are journalists that will do what they are suppose to do,” he said.

Yusuf, who is also Board member of International Press Institute, explained that the press was not trained to see the good but the bad news which government always tried to hide.

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According to him, that is the core challenge that journalism is facing.

“We have the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Guild of Editors, Newspaper Proprietors Association, BON, etc, yet sometimes, when we have an event, we start looking for which government can sponsor.

“Such government in power may put challenges on your way, but if you do well, you will excel,” he advised.

According to him, all politicians are the same and advised journalists to be on their guard.

He said: “There must be public trust; so, that we can professionally do what we are expected to do.

“As journalists, we need to hold ourselves accountable before we hold others accountable. There are people of personal character that lives with us in journalism.”

The Daily Trust chairman said there was the need to strengthen the media in a way that journalism will continue, adding that every government is the same and don’t like criticism.

He stressed that even when critics become part of the government, they also hate to be criticised.

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