Veteran Broadcast journalist and developer, Dr. Babatunde Adeyemo, has called on Nigerian journalists to quickly take the noble journalism profession back from charlatans lest they plunge the country and society into an avoidable crisis with their unwholesome and uncensored contents.
Adeyemo, who lamented that people without requisite professional or on – the – job training in journalism and mass communication have taken over the media space, especially the social media, to push out negative contents that serve the primordial sentiments of unsuspecting members of the public, urged professionals to wrest the trade from the quacks in the interest of peace, harmony, national stability and cohesion.
The ex – Correspondent of MITV and now the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Pelican Valley Nigeria Limited, Nigerian foremost real estate firm, gave the advice while fielding questions from newsmen shortly after the celebration of this year edition of World Television Day at the Secretariat of the Ogun State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists(NUJ) Abeokuta, the state capital where he was bestowed with ….award.
Other dignitaries that were given awards at the occasion include its pioneer chairman and TVC reporter, Com. Kazeem Olowe, State chairman of the NUJ, Com. Wale Olanrewaju, Baale Arulogun Olawale Taofeek, the National Publicity Secretary of Labour Party, Dr. Oluwafemi Abayomi Arabambi, Special Adviser to Governor Dapo Abiodun and former Commissioner for Information in Ondo State, Mr. Kayode Akinmade e.t.c.
This year’s celebration has a theme, ‘Television: A Strategic Tool for Conflict Management And Nation Building’ and a sub – theme titled, ‘Media Space For Information Access In Nigeria’ where the duo of the Secretary to the Government of Ogun State, Mr Tokunbo Talabi and CEO of WFM 91.7 Arepo, Toun Okewale – Sonaiya featured as keynote speakers.
The colourful event was put together by the NUJ Consolidated Chapel, Ogun State chapter, where Adeyemo was a pioneer foundation member and also the pioneer chairman of the maiden Committee of the chapel on World Television Day anniversary celebration some years ago.
He noted that the reason charlatans appeared to be dominating the media space and thriving was because they operate largely without censorship and regulations while the average Nigerian also followed them steadily because of their sensational and emotionally charged contents.
He expressed the confidence that when the profession is taken back from the usurpers and charlatans, the real practitioners and professionals would then be able to use it as a veritable tool to manage and resolve conflict, curb vices, build egalitarian society, enthrone quality governance, accountability in government and effectively promote national harmony, peace and stability.
The apostle of ‘Second Address’ advocates for journalists in the country, also took a cursory look at his active years in journalism practice and concluded that the profession has given him a lot of leverage when he veered into his second occupation – real estate practice, stressing that the experience remained the same for some of his colleagues too.
He said, “This profession actually gave me a lot of leverage, not only me, I realised that when I was a cob reporter in Lagos, there were so many performers in many administrations that I personally know myself that it is the media that brought them to limelight because they were very very good and friendly to the media.
“I want to use this opportunity to urge all those that are working hard and want their efforts to be felt by the public to be friendly with the media. Moreso, let the media use what they have positively to chart a path for a second address. We have the names, we have the connections, So, you can always thrive with your second address using experience and knowledge of the media.
“You can’t really give what you don’t have. The TV may go into extinction because average Nigerian want to hear something negative and the TV and Censor Board will not permit an average TV reporter to show gory scene and if you are reporting, you must have something to complement your reportage, it is not a case of you taking anything you want and put it online and that is why online medium has been having a lot of edge over us.
“So, what I want us to do is to take the battle to them and take the profession back from them. The online medium has already given us the platform to be an independent publisher, broadcaster and to be a CEO once you know the ‘do’s and don’ts’ and how to handle and use your languages. As a mass communication graduate you don’t need to search for jobs. You can go on Tik tok life, facebook life, create a programme, you don’t need to pay any TV station to buy Airtime. It is a wonderful opportunity for a potential mass communication graduate or even existing and practicing journalist to take advantage of the opportunity in the social media.
“Unfortunately, we journalists may be because we are always busy trying to file 10 reports per day does not really encourage us to have in-depth thoughts on how we can utilise the opportunity by ourselves. That is why you see some people that did not study either journalism or mass communication making millions of money from our own inheritance. I want to urge all of us to take the profession back from (charlatans) and when we have taken it back, we will now be reporting professionally. That is when we will be able to use it as a tool to curb vices in the nation.”
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