Don, editors task NGE on survival strategies for media
Pate, a Professor of Media and Society, made the appeal during a discussion on “Solution Roundtable: A Distressed Media; The Way Out’’ at the 15th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference (ANEC 2019) in Sokoto on Friday.
He noted that the media was facing difficult times as it had to be on air 24 hours; advertising revenue was dropping; the need for more money to invest in technology and consumers of media products mostly relying on online reports.
Pate expressed concern over how the media could invest in new technologies as people no longer depended on newspapers and other forms of conventional media.
“How do we invest into the future to ensure that we carry the young ones along as part of the global movement and to be relevant in the present Nigeria’s democratic movement ’’ he asked?
Pate noted that the universities had inaugurated a committee to amend Mass Communication as a course and streamlined it into seven degree programmes to meet modern day needs.
According to him, the course, Mass Communication will no longer be in existence.
He said: “Seven new programmes BSc Journalism & Media Studies; BSc Public Relations; BSc Advertising; BSc Broadcasting; BSc Film & Multi-Media; BSc Development Communication Studies; and BSc Information & Media Studies had evolved.’’
In his contribution, the Executive Director, News, Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr Ahaziah Suleiman, said funding was a major problem affecting the media.
Suleiman called for training and retraining of journalists, saying that journalists should put their case on the front burner by speaking for themselves, not minding whether public or private sector.
Mr Isaac Ighure, a former Editor-in-Chief, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said the NGE should invest more to be self-dependent.
He suggested that journalists should be well remunerated and regularly.
“ Section 22 of the constitution grants the media the power to hold government accountable”.
“At the National Conference, I suggested an amendment of the constitution to provide protection for journalists but some argued that there were extant laws that protected journalists.
“We must interface with the government to look at the challenges faced by publishers,’’ Ighure said.
Mr Kelly Elisha, Chairman, Editorial Board, DAAR Communications Plc, urged operators of media houses to reduce expenses as a result of too many management staff and unnecessary operational costs.
Elisha also noted that there was the problem of discrimination in charges by private and public media outfits, especially broadcasting stations.
He suggested diversification by media into relevant areas of journalism and training.
According to him, media can also collaborate by joining in using transmitters and can jointly organise seminars and lectures.
Elisha further suggested that government should pay private broadcast stations some subventions because government wanted the private stations to run their programmes.
Another contributor, Elizabeth Salami, said that the media should infuse a practical session into the conference as well as in-house trainings.
The Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, the Sun Newspapers, Mr Onuoha Ukeh, called for a re-engineering of the newsroom.
Ukeh suggested that media houses must collaborate by printing for each other, instead of doing it individually in order to cut costs.
Ukeh also advised that for instance, a truck could be used to distribute the newspapers.
He added that the organisation also evolved a policy to employ best graduating student in Mass Communication of the University of Nigeria Nsukka, Enugu State.
Mr Chuka Nnabuife, Managing Director, National Light Group of Newspapers, described a good press as 100 years of wealth and investments.
Nnabuife noted that the problems of the media were, equipment needs; challenges of technology; lack of dynamism in management of the media; problem of obsolete laws; and finance.
He said that the media should be futuristic in its planning.
“The today’s audience prized speed; not giving priority to details,’’ he said.
Nnabuife advised media houses to create more brands and events that could make them more relevant. (NAN)