By Amaka Abayomi & Kelechukwu Iruoma
A PROFESSOR of Political Science from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ayo Olukotun, has tasked Nigerian media on professionalism, saying it is the only way the media can be considered as an epicentre of Nigeria civil society and important plank of Nigeria’s democracy.
He said this at an inaugural lecture tagged “Governance and the Media in an Emergent Democracy: A Study of the Role, Record and Changing Profile of the Nigerian Media 1999-2017”, which was organized to mark the 83rd birthday celebration of Awujale of Ijebu Ode, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona (CFR).
Olukotun said the media will have to maintain enlarge the crusading and reformist outlooks with which they have been historically associated.
Olukotun said: “To do this, they must increase efforts to rid their ranks of corruption, as well as ensure that employers of media pay their workers, as and at when due. Journalists should not be content with merely reflecting society, must rise above the corrupt polity by demostrating that they take the values they canvass seriously.”
He said the media will be stronger still and become better instruments of national integration if the organizations that cater to a national audience make conscious efforts to carry along perspectives that are based in regions other than the ones in which they are located.
“The crusading role of the Nigerian media on behalf of good governance, human rights and democratic values represent one of the finer and heroic sides.
Finer and heroic sides
“Even the titles of our newspapers, such as Vanguard, The Guardian, The Punch, Tribune and others suggest such a role definition.”
He urged media owners to always pay their workers, stating: “More insidiously is corruption of journalists, which is arguably on the increase because of the practice whereby employers owe their workers several months of salaries.”
He said it is the reason the media have lost their bite and for the most part failed to carry out investigative reporting.