The Nigerian Press and Practice of Journalism Council Bill (3)

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Continues from yesterday

(2) It shall be the duty of a person appointed under subsection (1) of this section, to report to the Council on —
(a) the adequacy of the instruction given to person attending such approved courses of training at institutions visited by him;
(b) the adequacy or otherwise of the examinations attended by him; and

(c) any other matter relating to the institutions or examination on which the Council may, either generally or in a particular case, request him to report:

Provided that the person shall not interfere with the giving of any instruction or the holding of any examinations.
(3) Our receiving a report made in pursuance of this section of this Act the Council shall, as soon as may be send a copy of the report to the person appearing to the Council to be in charge of this institution or responsible for the examinations to which the report relates requesting that person to make representations to the Council within such period as may be specified in the request, not being less than one month beginning with the date of the request.

30. — (1) A person who after obtaining an approved qualification, satisfies the conditions specified in subsection (2) of this section shall be entitled to receive free of charge a certificate of experience in the prescribed for from the person in charge of the institution.

(2)The conditions referred to in subsection (1) of this section are that—
(a) he shall have served his time for employment, the prescribed period in Nigeria with a view to obtaining a certificate of experience; or

(b) He shall have acquired during his employment practical experience under the personal supervision and guidance of one more registered journalists for such periods as may be prescribed.
(c) the manner in which he carried out the duties of is employment and…the period of his employment shall have been satisfactory.

(3( it shall be the duty of the employer, being a registered journalist supervising the training of the person employed with a view to obtaining a certificate of experience, to ensure that the person is afforded proper opportunities of acquiring the practical experience required for the purposes to paragraph (b)of subsection (2) of this section.
(4) Whereafter having served his time as referred to in paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of this section, a person is refused certificate of experience, he shall be entitled—

(a) to receive from his employer particulars in writing of the grounds of the refusal; and
(b) to appeal against the refusal to a committee of the Council in accordance with rules made by the Council in that behalf (including rules as to the time within which appeals are to be brought) and on any such appeal the committee of the Council shall have power to either discuss the appeal or itself issue the certificate of experience in question or give such other direction on the matter as it considers just.

(5) The Minister may made regulations for the issuance of certificates of experience in respect of employment and Institutions outsider Nigeria.

lDimeji Bnakole, Speaker, House of Representatives.

Dimeji Bankole, Speaker, House of Representatives.

31. The council may cause to be published in the Press Journal and in such other manner as the Council may deem fit the name of any journalist or person reprimanded by the Council in the exercise of its power under this Act.
32. The Council may publish its journal and books, to publicise its activities and the result of its findings on adjudication and such other matters which relate to the development of mass media in Nigeria.

PART VI — APPOINTMENT AS EDITOR
33.— (1) A person shall be qualified for appointment as Editor in a newspaper or media establishment if –
(a) he had attained the age of 25 years;
(b) he is a registered member of the Nigerian Union of Journalists; and
(c) he has, for a period of not less than ten years served as a reporter or acquired working experience as a journalist in a reputable newspaper house, electronic news medium of news agency.
(2) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall beconstrued to include working experience, employment in a house journal, newsletter or any similar publications.
34. Any media establishment that appoints any journalist without the appropriate Qualifications as editor shall be guilty of an offence of professional misconduct, and the matter shall be referred to the Nigerian Press and Practice of Journalism Council who shall proceed on the matter in accordance with Part IX of this Act.

PART VII — CONDITIONS OF SERVICE
35. In order to ensure the independence, objectivity, impartiality and transparency of journalists, they shall be placed on salaries, allowances, pensions and general conditions of service at least not less than 20 per cent above those paid to staff in Federal and State Government parastatals and private companies as the case may be.

36. Any media establishment that covers at least two-thirds of the country shall pay their workers not less than 120 percent above the rates of salary, pensions, allowance, etc. which obtain at the Federal level, shall pay their workers not less than 20 per cent above the rates, pensions and allowances, etc. which operate at the State level. Allowances may however differ to accommodate peculiar needs.

37. The conditions of Service of Journalist including salaries, allowances, leave, general and retirement benefits, etc. shall be negotiated collectively and as necessary between the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), and the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON).

38. Every registered journalist shall be given an insurance certificate taken out on his behalf by the employers with reputable Insurance Company.

39. The agreed Conditions of Service shall be published in the Federal Gazette, and made available to every journalist and media establishment.

40. The failure of any media organisation to pay the applicable salaries, allowances and conditions of service, shall be an offence under this Bill and shall be reported by the Nigeria Union of Journalists to the Nigerian Press Council for appropriate action.

PART VIII — RESPONSIBILITIES OF JOURNALISTS AND THE MEDIA

41. All journalists in Nigeria shall at all times uphold—
(a) the fundamental objectives and fundamental rights contained in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;
(b) the responsibility and accountability of all levels of Government to the people of Nigeria.

42. A journalist shall at all times be fair, accurate, unbiased, and factual in the assessment and presentation of information and reports in the news media.

43. Every journalist has the duty to ascertain the accuracy and authenticity of reports and stories made available to him before publishing them in civilised manner and where such information has been inadvertently published, appropriate correction shall be made without delay.

44. Any journalist or media house, which deliberately or recklessly publishes inaccurate and or misleading information, shall be guilty of professional misconduct, and the matter shall be referred to the commission for investigation and disciplinary action.

45. All journalists shall respect the privacy of individuals and their families unless the public interest is affected.

46. Publishing information on the privacy of individuals and their families shall be justified in the public interest only if the purpose of the publication is —
(a) to expose anti-social conduct;
(b) inimical to the state security;
(c) to protect public health, morality and safety; and
(d) to protect the public from being misled by some statement or action of the individual concerned.

47.— (1) A journalist shall neither solicit, negotiate nor accept inducement to publish or suppress information or a story.
(2) Any, person who contravenes this section commits an offence, and is liable on conviction, to imprisonment for one year.. or not exceeding N100,000 or both.

48. Every journalist shall be conscious at all times of the need for the unity, harmony, indivisibility and indissolubility fo the Federal Republic of Nigeria as enshrined in Section 2 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

49. A journalist shall not identify, either by name or picture, or picture, or interview children under the age of 16 years, who are involved in cases concerning sexual offences, crimes and rituals or witchcraft either as victims, or witnesses or defendants, except for purposes of rehabilitation.

50. Journalists shall report matters of national security with discretion and all sense of responsibility.

51. Any person or publisher that acts in breach of the provisions of sections 15to 21 of this Bill shall be guilty of professional misconduct, and the matter shall be referred to the Nigerian Press Council by the Nigerian Union of Journalists, or any of its members or any affected person, for appropriate disciplinary action, which may include suspension from the practice of journalism in Nigeria and or withdrawal of the practicing certificate of registration of the journalist from the Nigerian Union of Journalists, and the Nigerian Press Council.

PART IX — DISCIPLINARY PROCESS AND PROCEDURE

52, There shall be established in every state of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, a Media Practitioners Complaints Commission (MPCC) to handle complaints of professional and or ethical misconduct of journalist in the respective states.

53. The Commission shall compose of 9 members who shall be appointed by the National Executive Committee of the Nigeria Press and Practice of Journalism Council on the recommendation of the representing body.

54. The Media Practitioners Complaint Commission membership shall consists of—
(i) a representative of the Nigeria Press Council and Practice of Journalism (NPCPJ).
(ii) a representative of the Nigerian Union of Journalists;
(iii) a representative of the Nigerian Guild of Editors;
(iv) a representative of the Newspapers Proprietors of Nigeria;
(v) a legal practitioner of not less than 10 years post call experience;
(vi) a representative of the Federal Ministry of Information;
(vii) a representative of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria;
(viii) a representative of the News Agency of Nigeria;
(ix) a secretary who shall be appointed by the Chairman of the Commission.

55. The Commission shall have the power to—
(i) inquire and procure all such evidence (written or oral) and examine all such persons as witnesses as it may deem fit:
(ii) Summon any such person(s) for the hearing of the complaint to produce any document or other things in relation to the complaint;
(iii) consider and deal with any matter referred to it in the absence of any party who has been duly summoned before it;
(iv) decide on the validity or otherwise of the complaint and on the appropriate punishment to be given to the offender where the complaint is proved to be valid.

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