The Federal Government has been advised to utilize the Media in re-orientating the society on patriotism, discipline, good neighborliness, peaceful coexistence and adherence to the rule of law.
Governments at all levels as well as the organized private sector (OPS) operators who own media houses have also been told to adequately fund their services, provide working materials and remunerate the workers adequately.
The National Assembly, on its part, has been urged to hasten the passage of the “Journalism Enhancement Bill’ that proposes minimum entry point for editorial staff, conditions of service to commensurate with what obtains at the Federal Civil Service and the payment of hazard allowance to journalists, among others.
These calls were made by participants at a two-day seminar on Media and Society sponsored by the Kano State Government at the NUJ Press Centre in Kano.
The seminar, which was coordinated by a Kano-based Media Consultancy firm, TEECEE Media Services, and facilitated by the Kano State Ministry of Information, Youth and Culture, was attended by 25 Senior journalists from media houses in Kano, Ministry of Information and representatives of Kano State council and the Correspondents chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the seminar and jointly signed by Maje T. Sunusi, Deputy Director of Information, Ministry of Information, Youth and Culture, Kano State; Abdulkadir Ahmed Ibrahim, Media Consultant/CEO, TeeCee Media Services, as well as a representative of the participants and journalists were advised to among others:
Perform their duties in accordance with the rule and regulations, code of conduct and ethics, legislations, the guidelines of regulatory and professional bodies and be decent and aboveboard at all times.
Be conscious of the laws of libel and slander, accurate and fair in reporting events and respect the privacy of individuals, the rights and privileges of children and minors and avoid discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, ethnicity, political affiliation, physical handicap or mental illness.
Uphold the obligations of the mass media as provided in section 22 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended while complying with section 39 of the Constitution.
Be emotionally intelligent at all times, think constructively, act wise, seek and report the truth and promote public good and national unity.
Constantly update their knowledge through training and re-training, seminars and refresher courses while employers should ensure regular professional and technical training of their staff to meet the challenges of insufficient and unprofessional manpower.
Be wary of unaccredited media training institutions that abound in the country while employers, trade unions and professional associations in the media should prioritize the professional and technical trainings of their employees and members at the NTA College, the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) and the National Broadcasting Academy (former Radio Nigeria Staff Training School).
“All professional and trade unions of media workers and owners notably the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) and the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) should partner the Nigerian Press Council and make it mandatory for all potential journalists to register with the relevant professional and regulatory bodies after fulfilling a basic requirement and be accredited to practice. They must also sign to uphold the code of conduct and ethics for Nigerian Journalists,” the communiqué also stated.
While commending Kano State Government for its commitment to resuscitate the Triumph Publishing Company, it recommended that the government should do more to bail out Radio Kano with financial support and other logistics.
Seminar participants unanimously commended the organizers, TeeCee Media Services, Kano State Ministry of Information, Youth and Culture and particularly the Commissioner, Comrade Muhammad Garba, for the facilitation and Kano State Government for funding the event.