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Dangote tasks journalists on professionalism

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Aliko Dangote, billionaire and chief executive officer of Dangote Group, PHOTO: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has tasked media practitioners on professionalism and high ethical standard in the discharge of duties as the watchdog of the society.

He gave the charge in Abeokuta during a three-day training programme sponsored by the Pan-African conglomerate, for journalists across the South-west geo-political zone in the country.

Represented by Senior General Manager, Branding and Communication, Dangote Industries Limited, Sunday Esan, Dangote said the role of the journalists is very critical in the society.

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He said the training was aimed at fine-tuning journalists for modern day expectation in view of the evolution of the social media.

The media practitioners were told to always look at the business side of the practice while discharging their duties.
Speaking on the theme ‘The convergence journalism’, organised by Folio Media and Creative Academy, the resource persons stated that though the ethics of the profession of journalism remained sacrosanct, the practitioners must not lose sight of the marketing side of their job.

Communication and Brand management expert, Dr. Victor Ogwezzy, said media practitioners should be mindful of their personal survival.

He said journalists also have the responsibility to ensure contents in their newspapers, radio and television are good enough to attract quality readership and audience, which will translate to income through advertisement.

Another speaker, Dr. Jide Johnson, a seasoned media practitioner who is the Director, Special Programmes at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), underscored the importance of the media in the society.

He said journalists should be conscious of the huge responsibility put on their shoulders by the Nigerian Constitution, which is holding government accountable for its actions and serving as the voice of the people.

Former Managing Editor and a Media Career Development Specialist, Lekan Otufodunrin, stressed the importance of new media in journalism work and the need for all practitioners to rise to the occasion.

He regretted that some media practitioners still delude themselves by thinking they are gate keepers, arguing rhetorically that social media had since dismantled that gate and the access to information had been wide open.

“Without using social media functionally, some of us will soon be irrelevant in the media profession. With social media, some of us can be bigger brands than the companies we work for. There is more to social media than social, its a professional tool for the new age journalist,” he said.

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Aliko Dangote
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