University don tasks journalists on professional and safety practices

A senior lecturer from the Department of Mass Communication, UNIMAID, Prof. Danjuma Gambo addressing journalists during a two day workshop on Safety of Journalists In The Post Conflict Era.

By SADIQ ABUBAKAR, Maiduguri –

Nigerian journalists have been urged to always observe the ethics of journalism profession in order to maintain their integrity and dignity as professionals of the fourth estate of the realm.

The Director of Radio and Public Relations, University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), Professor Danjuma Gambo gave the charge during a two day workshop on Safety of Journalists In The Post Conflict Era, which was held in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

NATIONAL ACCORD reports that the workshop which was organized by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and British Council, is part of the activities to mark this year’s International Day To End Immunity For Violent Crimes Against Journalists.

Prof. Gambo, who is also a senior lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, UNIMAID, observed that journalists have recently and deliberately diverted from the teachings and academic training given to them in school in quest for socio-economic and political reasons.

He said “journalists today don’t follow or apply ethics of the journalism profession in their practice or conduct themselves properly at the field or in office. Most journalists also don’t do a follow up to their stories for a developing sorry or to develop another story on an event”.

He noted that development stories comes out from journalists after the first event, while urging journalists to practice in accordance with the ethics of the noble profession for the purpose integrity and respect for themselves and the NUJ as an entity.

Professor Gambo, who presented a lead paper during the workshop, dded that in the post conflict era, there is the need for journalists to look further to engage in educating and updating themselves in conflict reporting and safety of the journalists as a professionals.

He said: “we want to ensure journalists are highly educated in post conflict reporting and safe as professional journalists in practice , especially, those seen at the war front covering the Boko Haram insurgency”.

He further called on journalists to always make research on the their news content and programmes where it particularly relates to safety of the journalists, while advising the journalists to always talk or invite veteran journalists and security officials to speak to them on their operations as well as the protection of the combatant journalists at the war front.

He noted that in many instances, many journalists have lost their lives but made history in the profession even without adequate compensation or industrial hazard allowances or insurance policy covered, including those following the state governors, president and ministers on outside the stations or state assignments.

The resource person, however, charged The NUJ to develop the culture of developmental stories even through training and re-training programmes to reposition the union on the issues of ethics of the profession.

He stressed that, the negligence is enormous and there is the need for the NUJ headquarters to checkmate the zonal and state NUJ councils activities and maintain strong and proper synergy with them.

Gambo lamented on how NUJ offices or leaders are married to only administrative or office matters without giving more concern to the activities of the NUJ offices at the state and zonal levels of the NUJ of the country.

He said the correspondents’ Chapel of NUJ is the back bone of the NUJ and the strongest arm of NUJ where in some cases, they assume superiority in a state but suggested that there should be a greater cooperation and cordial working relationship between the state council and the correspondents chapel in respect and dignity despite the fact that the state council is at the senior level.

He therefore charged all the journalists to rise to the challenges of the journalism profession and tasked the leadership of the NUJ state council to educate their members on post conflict issues and safety of journalists as the state correspondents have good synergy with the state council for constructive development and positive leadership.

On his part, The Borno State Chairman of NUJ, Comrade Daura Iliya, said the state council need a radical change and approach to revive the union while assuring that the challenges the highlighted by the resource person, Professor Danjuma Gambo, would be addressed.

He assured that his leadership will do its best to change the trend while assuring that, professionalism will actually take its course during his tenure.

He disclosed that the state council will try to establish an education endowment for the members to acquire pre-requisite qualification for them to practice properly and upgrade those who have basic qualification to practice.

The chairman also said that the state council presently has taken the bull by the horns to provide training tools or facilities assessable through all the chapels which will be conducted chapel by chapel using a template as a priority for the members, while appealing to the members to also make their contributions and support the mission and vision of his leadership.

He thanked all the invited resource persons and other dignitaries as well as the members of the State NUJ for their support and cooperation given to his leadership while stressing that, his leadership is committed and has taken steps to gradually effect changes and improve the present state of affairs of the state council.


The OPINION / COLUMN is authored by independent contributors to the National Accord Newspaper. While contributors adhere to our editorial guidelines, they are not employed by the National Accord Newspaper. The perspectives and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of the National Accord Newspaper or its staff.

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