The Senate over the weekend admonished practitioners of journalism profession in Nigeria , to be wary of its perceived sinking ship .
Making the admonition in Lokoja , the Capital of Kogi State , at the 2020 Retreat of the Senate Press Corps , the Chairman , Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs , Senator Ajibola Basiru who represented the Senate President , Ahmad Lawan , said series of unprofessional conducts of Journalists , are sinking the ship of the profession .
Senator Basiru in a paper entitled :
“Governance :How Watchful are the Watchdogs in Ensuring Accountability and Transparency “? , said the ship of journalism in Nigeria
needs to be re- navigated properly along the routes of professionalism and objectivity ,in preventing it from capsizing .
“The Ship of Journalism is sinking and it is sinking very fast and something drastic has to be done before it total capsizes ” he said .
According to him, unprofessional conducts like cash and carry journalism, preference for sensationalism as against news substance ,news buying etc, are the reasons behind the sinking ship of Journalism in the country .
Sensationalism he explained , should not be equated with serving as a watchdog since accordimg to him , it not only erodes the credibility of the media, it also over the times, create doubts about the quest of the media for accountability and responsibility of the government.
“It is therefore imperative for the press to rededicate itself to proper investigative journalism with necessary thoroughness that focused of substance of findings in relation to inefficiency, waste, corruption, mismanagement and/ or misappropriation being exposed”, he said.
He added that ” Corruption and bad leadership in and among the Nigerian press have escalated professional compromise which are basically unethical and subjective journalism .
He submitted that if the media ,as the watchdog of happenings in the society , particularly within the public sector , performing its role as enshrined in section 22 of the Constitution , the country would have surmounted the menace of institutionalized corruption to a very reasonable extent .
He therefore proffered way out of the sinking ship for the media practitioners like value re- orientation, training and capacity building , focusing on substance and not sensationalism , revisiting professionalism and reforming code of professional ethics .
Other serving Senators at the Retreat held at the Banquet Hall of Government House , Lokoja , were the former National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists ( NUJ), Senators Smart Adeyemi ( APC Kogi West and Senator Yakubu Oseni ( APC Kogi Central ) . I will be
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