By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
Managing Director, Abuja Broadcasting Corporation Ltd, owners of Aso Radio and Television, Ibrahim Damisa, has advocated the inclusion of journalists in governance, saying societal backlash associated with some government policies would reduce if the media were carried along in their formulation.
Damisa gave the advice on Wednesday when he led members of the Federal Capital Territory FCT minister’s Press Corps on a guided tour of facilities at the broadcasting house.
He said the corporation, as a way of contributing to the development of journalism and combating fake news, has recommended the conversion of one of its facilities in Abaji into a training institute to boost the capacity of media practitioners.
“We are looking at how we can use our facilities at Abaji to build the capacity of journalists. If our recommendations are accepted, we shall proceed to establish a training school there”, he said.
Damisa who lamented the negative impact of fake news on the image of the country as being promoted by citizen journalists on social media, however, urged professionals to remain distinguished and always be committed to the ethics of journalism.
While he attributed the rapid transformation of the station to the resolve of the Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello to revive all revenue-generating agencies under his administration, Damisa also reiterated his commitment to the welfare of staff, which he said was utmost to the sustainability of the ongoing transformation.
He further called on policymakers to always recognise media practitioners as well as carry them along in policies implementation.
“You are the ones bridging the communication gap between the people and the government. When it comes to communications, journalists play a very vital role, they play the role of preparing the minds of the people to be receptive to policy implementation.
“When electricity tariff was increased, journalists were not recognised. Journalists would have taken the sensitization about the increment to the people. We need to know as reporters what the government is doing so that it can be properly communicated to the people, especially on the issue of subsidy removal, journalists need to be able to prepare the minds of the people to receive such policies with minimal backlash”, he counselled.