Ex-NUJ Lagos chairman, Akinreti tasks journalism students on self-employment
• Chides media organisation employing non-journalists
The immediate past chairman, of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council, Dr Qassim Akinreti, has advised students of journalism to take advantage of the disruption in the media to create employment for themselves.
Akinreti, who was the guest lecturer at the Southwest Empowerment Series of the Association of Communication Scholars and Professionals of Nigeria (ACSPN) held at Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, with the theme: ‘Media Professionalism in the Era of Digital Disruption: Strategies and Tactics for Excellent Performance’, illustrated media disruption as a situation, where the media market enterprises are democratised and expanded.
He noted that journalists of today have ceded opportunities in media space to non-trained practitioners.
Akinreti argued that traditional journalism is on the verge of going into extinction as a result of media disruption, urging those who want to stay relevant in the industry to create a niche for themselves in the technological-driven media space.
Going forward, the broadcaster canvassed greater priority in some special beats listed as Gender inequality, Education, Health, Sports, Entertainment, Data Journalism among others.
He lamented that most media organisations give recognition to non-trained journalists in their workplace by employing those who don’t have a background in media-related disciplines.
He condemned the act by most media students, who, after bagging degrees, still go out to look for jobs. “While you are in school, make up your mind that you want to become a media entrepreneur and start working towards that and enhance all the necessary multimedia skills. Create employment on your own and don’t look for employment because the opportunities are there. With digital disruption, it has opened a lot of avenues, the market has expanded, and those who are generating content ordinarily are not journalists or reporters. Look at those who have carved a niche for themselves, look at Brila Sports FM with the tremendous achievement he has recorded,” he advised.
In his welcome address, ACSPN President and Vice-Chancellor of Federal University of Kashere, Gombe State, Prof Umaru Pate, said the empowerment series is aimed to enrich teaching and practice in journalism and communication.
Pate, who was represented by the South-West Vice President, Prof Rotimi Olatunji, noted that the association has contributed a lot to the development of journalism as a discipline in the country.
According to him, “the new curriculum or set of curricula approved for Mass Communication was championed by the ACSPN. It began with the ACSPN holding the first meeting in the University of Lagos, Department of Mass Communication. Now we decided to retain the old Mass Communication programme with a new set of courses that are in line with contemporary realities.”
He also disclosed that through funding from UNESCO, research has been made to curb fake news and develop programmes so as to disseminate credible information and promote peace in society.
Similarly, the host and Dean, Faculty of Communication and media studies, Prof Oluwole Alabi described Journalism as an industry with a rich history that is deeply rooted in tradition.
He stated that the era of technology and Innovation has brought digitalisation adding that technology and digital innovation have challenged communication and the industry.
He added that the effect has not only impacted how journalism is conducted but also the business model for the industry.