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Kano journalists lament activities of social media, alternative news platform

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Social Media. Photo Econsultancy

Media stakeholders have decried low level of activities in Kano State as a result of social media activities, saying they are finding it difficult getting stories for their respective organisations. Though they do not entirely depend on news sources such as press conferences, seminars, workshops, they said the absence of events is negatively impacting on their daily output.

Findings by The Guardian revealed that the proliferation of local private radio stations in the state and the use of social media to disseminate information are not helping matters.

Alhaji Muhammad Yau, popularly known as ‘God father’, said that ‘Citizen media’ “is posing grave challenge to mainstream journalism,” adding, however, “social media cannot be relied upon because they do not have the patience to confirm or balance their stories.”

Yau said, “another source of concern to us as journalists working in print media is the influx of local radio stations in Kano. A significant number of newsmakers in the state often rely on electronic platforms.”

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A journalist and public commentator, Bash M Bash, said the proliferation of FM stations had, however, created a forum for audience accessing the media to have a level-playing field without necessarily using their money to buy newspapers all the time.

According to him, it is a common place that day- in-day-out, audience interested in news have formed the habit of listening to FM stations for both national and international content.

Bash said, “as a print media journalist, I use the local content produced on FM stations to enhance my productivity on news gathering, most especially, that Kano is vast and wide with 44 council areas.

“However, the proliferation of social media has created a serious problem for print media journalists due to unverifiable contents, which normally put the print media in trouble.”

He lamented that some of the reports released by social media platforms were not credible to convince the reading public.

“The number of engagement and invitations received from government corporate; organisations and individuals have reduced considerably because FM stations and social media platforms have almost usurped the functions and effectiveness of print media establishments not only in Kano but across the nation,” he said.

However, the state chairman of Kano Council of the Nigeria Union of journalists, Abbas Ibrahim, described the proliferation of FM stations and the new media as a welcome development.

He said apart from encouraging healthy competitiveness among media practitioners, it would compel both the operators and the working journalists to think outside the box.

“The only thing is that, conventional media outlets have to live up to expectations by ensuring working environment for journalists to preform their official duties effectively.

“The new media has also come to stay. The trend is that all conventional media houses have their presence in Facebook, Whatsup, YouTube and Instagram, etc.”

He urged journalists not only in Kano but also in the country to seize the opportunity in their hands to do quality jobs as newsmen.

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