NUJ, others urge journalists to focus on developmental reportage
Journalists in the country were urged by the Nigeria Union of Journalists and other stakeholders, who converged on Katsina for a training programme for practitioners to concentrate on developmental reportage at the expense of conventional reporting.
This was contained in a communique issued after a 3-day training programme organised by the Katsina State branch of NUJ in collaboration with Media Search for Accountability (MESFAC), and sponsored by the Katsina State Government. It focused on development reporting techniques for journalists in the state.
Other beneficiaries were public relations officers of government ministries, departments and agencies alongside information officers from all the 37 local government areas of the state, on how to effectively report development. It was observed by participants that “reporters from government-owned media give much emphasis on government and personalities thereby neglecting issues affecting the community.”
The communiqué further recommends, “…the need for practising journalists to strive to be ICT compliant to enable them cope with the technological demands posed by the current digitization of broadcast media in the country; for journalists in the state to continue having uninterrupted training on how to report development, Katsina State Government should establish Institute of Developmental Journalism in order to also change the focus of journalists from conventional and sensational reportage to more positive practice.”
Specifically, the communique states that “Information officers should not confine their role to covering the activities of local government administration only, but should diversify to encompass other happenings in their respective localities. “
In order to take care of community reporting, the communique emphasises that “NUJ should re-examine the need to re-incorporate local governments’ information officers into the union to enhance rural reporting.”
Media scholars from universities and veteran practitioners presented papers covering a wide range of issues in the media industry. Papers like ‘Skills for Reporting Development: A Tool for Public Relations Officers and Information Officers,’ by Professor Balarabe Maikaba, ‘Government Media Relations under Democracy,’ by Muhammad Danyaro, ‘Media Engagement in Reporting Development: Katsina State Perspective,’ by Muhammad Bashir Ruwan Godiya, amongst others were discussed thoroughly by the participants.