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Farounbi, don warn against influx of foreign culture in Nigerian media

By Rotimi Agboluaje, Ibadan
28 September 2021   |   2:46 am
A former Nigerian Ambassador to the Philippines, Dr. Yemi Farounbi, and an Islamic scholar and former Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Ogun State, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke

Yemi Farounbi

A former Nigerian Ambassador to the Philippines, Dr. Yemi Farounbi, and an Islamic scholar and former Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Ogun State, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke, have called on government and stakeholders in the media industry to regulate the influx of foreign culture in the Nigerian media space via the convergence of radio, television and newspaper.

Farounbi and Olagoke spoke at the Oyo State media conference 2021 organised by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a private satellite television station, Jagaban Television, Mr. Samuel Adenitan.

Farounbi said foreign contents devalue culture, as well as, make people accept values that are antithetical to Nigeria’s.

The ace broadcaster also called for a speedy switch from analogue to digital broadcasting to harness opportunities and potential embedded in the concept.

Farounbi said: “It is critical for broadcasters to know that we are part of the Fourth Revolution around the world and our industry is pivotal to the digital economy. We have recognised we are already in a convergence of broadcast, radio, television online, newspaper and social media.

“We need to preach the knowledge to the crowd. We need to train ourselves. When you are a journalist, you must see yourself as a radio, TV, social media person, because you may have to do it online. The radioman should know that he has to do social media, YouTube and so on. We have the convergence of platforms now and that requires a lot of effort in terms of knowledge usage, accumulation and utilisation. All of these give more plural services to the viewers so that they can have more options, more satisfaction, education and entertainment from different news.

“We must recognise the danger that poses to our society by the huge influx of foreign culture in radio, television, social media. They devalue our culture and make our people accept a culture that is antithetical to the essential values of Nigerian and African values.

“You cannot just block these foreign values that are well furnished and bring authentic African culture in line and expect people to take it. So, we need to encourage the advertisers and sponsors to put more money into the media so that we can give them better programmes that will reflect the culture that will move us forward,” he said. The former media manager, however, pointed out that achieving the goals and objectives would require more creativity, innovation and professionalism.

While calling on broadcasters to always consider cultures of the land while reporting global issues, Olagoke urged the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to be strict with the enforcement of Not-To-Be-Broadcast (NTBB) rules.

The don raised concern over the growing number of media houses that are not managed by professionals.

“We are under globalization; we are into the Internet facility-driven system. Broadcasting in our attempt to bring what’s happening abroad home, we must not forget the area of cultures. Product development is equally about how best the users will be able to make it.

“The way many freelancers write their stories devalues and damages the culture and values.”