By Anazia Matthew, Asaba
The Nigeria Guild of the Editors and other stakeholders in the journalism profession have been asked to make sacrifices to save the profession from collapse or being taken over by bad eggs.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo gave the charge on Thursday when he opened the 14th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference with the theme: “Credible Elections, Sustainable Democracy and The Nigerian Media” in Asaba, Delta State.
He urged the NGE to enforce the rules and values of the profession.
In his goodwill message, the VP noted that most professional, particularly journalism, had been threatened by artificial technologies, adding that the social media had virtually taken over the conventional media in terms of readership and followership.
Osinbajo, titled the goodwill message: “The end of professions, the end of journalism.”
According to him, the burden is on the Guild to set the agenda and the rules as well as enforce and keep them.
“For journalism, are we at the end of the profession? Today, social media has totally become the choice of everybody and read by many people than the newspapers.”
He noted that apart from the challenges of technology, the professionals remain a challenge to themselves, such that people had lost confidence because most information lacked objectivity and accuracy.
He said that the journalism profession had become partisans and were being influenced by politicians and non-professionals.
He therefore charged the media to fight corruption in the system, adding that corruption, like cancer could eat up the fabrics and eventually kill the victim if not checked.
The host governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, commended Nigeria media for standing with the people, by giving them voice on national issues.
Okowa said that the problem in the practice of the profession which he identified as three must be addressed urgently to save journalism from dying.
He pointed out that media practitioners would compromise “the editorial independence, fairness and objectivity of the press if they are engage as public relation consultants to politicians/public office holders.”
To this end, the governor tasked the NGE/NUJ to immediately draw up a code for its members in guiding political activism on social media.
In her welcome address, NGE President, Mrs. Funke Egbemode, said that the theme of the conference was apt, especially a this electioneering period.
“We cannot afford to go about our businesses and leave politics to politicians. A wrong choice next year will leave us with consequences that will last us years,” she said