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Journalists deserve better welfare package, says Duyile

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Veteran journalist and former Director of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Dayo Duyile, has said that for journalists to discharge their duties effectively, media owners must improve their welfare packages.
 
Speaking during the presentation of his book, titled, ‘Makers of the Nigerian Press’ in Lagos recently, Duyile, a lecturer at the Elizade University, Ondo State, expressed dissatisfaction with the poor attention given to the welfare of media workers and called on the owners to take the welfare of journalists seriously so that they can be rated at the same level with their counterparts in other professions.
 
“The welfare of journalists is creating a problem for the integrity of journalists in the country. The book tries to tell them to do something about their welfare,” he stated.
 
He explained that the former Lagos State governor, Lateef Jakande was honoured in the book because of his relentless efforts in shaping the country’s journalism and educational sectors.
 
According to him, “Jakande is by every standard a genius. His devotion to journalism profession and his duties in political governance and political career; his leadership in newspaper column writing, editorial writing and newspaper management capabilities; sincerity of purpose in what he lays his hands on, have worked together to make LKJ the great leader of men, a reliable and dependable patriarch of contemporary Nigerian journalism. His ‘John West’ column, which he wrote for many years in Nigerian Tribune, is worthy of emulation by our modern newspaper columnists. They need to read the writings of John West to learn about the art of column writing. In journalism, LKJ distinguished himself as a prolific and versatile writer.”
 
The book reviewer, and Director, International Press Centre, Lanre Arogundade, said the book is about the history of Nigeria, which looked at the various aspects of the dimensions of media development in the country.

According to him, the book traces the country’s roots during the colonial and missionary period, the evolution of the media, the liberalization of the media landscape and the advent of technology and how it has changed the media among others, saying it’s a must-read by all especially mass communication scholars and media workers.

“You cannot separate the history of the media from the history of the country.

He added that the book could even be called the ‘History of Nigeria’, as Lateef Kayode Jakande, to whom this edition is deservedly dedicated and who is described by the author in chapter 88 as the Patriarch of modern Nigerian journalism, writes in the foreword: The history of the Nigerian press is in many respects the history of Nigeria.

“In offering this opinion, I reckon with the fact that book provides a panoramic, yet in-depth documentation and analysis of the processes, the events, the legislations, the regulatory frameworks, the challenges, the economic environment and the political processes that have been shaping the evolution of the Nigerian media since the establishment of the first newspaper – Iwe Irohin Fun Awon Egba ati Yoruba – in Abeokuta in 1859, about 160 years ago.

“The book also looks into some of the least researched media areas such as specialised reporting and the place of women in the Nigerian media. Indeed, in chapter 49, the author regrets the fact that not much study has been done on the issue of women in the Nigerian media and calls on media scholars and researchers to pick the gauntlet.”
 
The book was dedicated to the former governor of Lagos State, Lateef Jakande as the father of modern journalism in Nigeria given the role he played in the establishment of Nigeria Union of Journalists and the first journalism training institution in the country, Nigeria Institute of Journalism. It is a book that came at the right time and is recommended for everyone especially those in the media,” he added.
 
In his opening remarks, Segun Osoba, a former Governor of Ogun State and chairman of the event, said Duyile is the only journalist that got to the peak of his journalism profession before switching to the academia. He urged journalists to create a standard in their profession so that there will be a great difference between them and bloggers who are not trained in the field, frowning at the rate bloggers circulate unverified information.

“Bloggers are the ones creating problems. We journalists cannot fight them because freedom of expression is in the constitution. Journalists should go online and create standard

Chairman, Centre of Excellence TV and Radio, University of Lagos, Ralph Akinfeleye, said, “citizen journalists are not journalists, they don’t practice journalism they practice what I call ‘journaleesse’, and they are information traffickers. They traffic in falsehood, traffic in fake news.

According to him, what we just witnessed about the purported marriage of the president is done by those whose internal mechanism is weak.

“When the CEO of Facebook was in this country some years ago and we asked him in your Facebook are you practicing journalism and he responded no he was not practicing journalism but providing a platform for people to disseminate information, so you can’t say because you use social media, you are a journalist.”

Similarly, Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalist, Lagos State Council Quasim Akinreti described the author as a prolific writer and a great man. He said social media has improved journalism. “It has brought feedback, we can’t lose that sight. However, people have abused it as avenue for purveyor of fake news. We should also go and populate social media. We should not leave the space for those who are untrained. We should incorporate those in social media into the union so that they can be disciplined. As a teacher of journalism that is what I tell my students that you are lucky to practice journalism today, don’t look for any job, be a media entrepreneur through social media. He added that information could be fast checked to address fake news.”

Duyile said publication of this book arose from his desire to produce a book on the evolution of the Nigerian press for educational needs, reading pleasure and for use in research works by scholars, who are seeking more information on the Nigerian mass media. He said the book presents the historical accounts and analysis of the pioneers, the proprietorial families, and individuals who have contributed to the growth of journalism in Nigeria.

“The book is intended to serve historians, students of journalism and mass communications, especially in the area of media and society. It is also to serve foreign university students in America, Britain, the Soviet Union, India, Jamaica, France, the African continent and the history and evolution of the Nigerian press, side by side with developments that took place within the periods covered. It will also be of use to local, national and international library institutions, both in Africa and overseas,” he said.

Founder, Elizade University, Ondo State Michael Ade Ojo raised the alarm over the rising number of poor people in Nigeria. He called on the federal government to urgently arrest the general poverty in the country or risk the anger of the poor.

According to him, it is no longer business as usual. “I hope something will be done by the government to arrest the general poverty that has overtaken the nation. It is unfortunate we are in this position where nobody is sure of his or her future, both the rich and the poor. The annoyance of the poor should only be imagined as no one prays for it to come. We pray that things change in this country if we are to avert terrible incidences.”

The book, Makers of the Nigerian Press, is an a-782 page containing 88 chapters.


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