ByÂ Olasunkanmi Akoni
President, Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE) and General Manager (Publications) /Editor-in-Chief, Vanguard Newspapers, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, has called for a more working relationship among NGE, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), to put journalism in its right place in the society.
Adefaye spoke at the September Lagos NUJ monthly congress at the state Secretariat, Alausa, at the weekend.
The event was used to honour Adefaye on the award bestowed on him recently by the Osun State Government as â€œEditor of the Yearâ€.
The Vanguard Newspapers chief, who received encomiums from journalists, noted that journalism had come a long way and should not be relegated to the background by those whom journalists make to be someone, that is the beneficiaries.
He said it was high time journalists took their rightful place in the society so that the beneficiaries would stop calling journalists and editors derogatory names as â€œPress Boysâ€.
Adefaye noted that journalism profession has produced Nigerians of note such as Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Delel Giwa, all of blessed memory; Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Chief Olusegun Osoba, both former governors of Lagos and Ogun States; Prince Tony Mommoh, former Minister of Information among others who have distinguished themselves in their different endeavours.
He recalled that since 150 years ago when journalism started, some â€œcharlatansâ€ have continued to call journalists â€œpress boysâ€ which should not be so.
â€œThey have continued to use us, they divide and rule us, if they continue to use us and still call us press boys then something is wrong somewhere.
â€œIt behoves on all of us as professionals to have a rethink and rebuild our capacity, our knowledge base and stand up to those people. We should strive to attain the highest level and stay in the profession, but the kind of relationship we build can reposition this job.â€
While urging professionals to seek ways of enhancing their capacity, Adefaye promised: â€œI will see how the Guild, NUJ and NPAN can work closely and project the profession to an enviable height.â€
He thanked Lagos NUJ for the honour done him by felicitating with him on his award, saying he considered the award as an encouragement to do more â€œand I will not let you and the profession down.â€