The Nigerian Press Organisation (NPO), has expressed worry over the proliferation of beat associations and has proscribed it in the industry.
The NPO, comprises of the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE),
The NPO said the development constitutes a drawback on the laudable objective of media houses deploying reporters to such outlets, the essence of which is to enhance efficient and independent gathering of news.
In a statement by executive secretary of NPAN, Feyi Smith the organisation stated that “the essence of reporters in those beats, is to strengthen the operations of the media in its quest to deepen journalism and raise an army of a well informed and enlightened citizenry and actualise its constitutional responsibility of holding the government accountable to the people at all times, through well informed news and commentaries.”
Also, it stated that “no where in their mandate, are they expected to form any association outside their recognised professional body, the Nigeria Union of Journalists. The proliferation of Beat associations, is not only corrosive of the esteemed journalism profession but also capable of lowering ethical and moral standards as well as the quality of reportage, if unchecked. They are now to cease and desist from engaging journalists in such untoward conduct.”