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NUJ canvasses support for journalists’ welfare

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The Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos branch, Dr Qasim Olalere Akinreti, has assured journalists in the state of suitable welfare packages, health services and capacity building to enable media practitioners discharge their duties ethically, without recourse to compromising the profession.

He made this known when he led members of the state council on a courtesy visit to The Guardian newspapers yesterday.

Akinreti said the union had observed the marginalisation of journalists working in the state and was willing to increase investment in agriculture and properties to help members and ensure that the rights of journalists are protected.

He also assured that the union was stepping up its advocacy for the release of journalists arrested over the #RevolutionNow protests of August 8 and are also holding talks with the Nigeria Police authorities over arrests of journalists during the COVID-19 issues among other harassments.

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While congratulating The Guardian for recovering its voting rights in the union after 13 years, he said the newspaper has been consistent in paying its dues for the last one decade, and as such, recognized the organisation as a key player in the development of the union.

“When I came on board, I engaged the management on the need to restore voting right to the media house and I am glad that we are together again. The profession is open to all and The Guardian has been a key player in the union for the last 13 years,” he said.

Responding, the Acting Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian, Martins Oloja, condemned the proliferation of citizen journalists in the country, which he tagged as “untrained and unprofessional.”

He said: “There is nothing like citizen journalism. What we have are untrained and unprofessional personnel who write whatever they like. The union should erect policies that will affect the changes and breed professionals in the media industry.”
Akinreti urged trained journalists to make use of the opportunity of the new media to upstage those using their platforms to give the wrong narratives of what the profession is about.

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