About 60 journalists selected across the South West states have been charged by the President of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, not to compromise high ethical standards and professionalism in the course of discharging their duties as the watchdog of the society.
Dangote spoke through the Senior General Manager, Branding and Communication, Dangote Industries Limited, Mr Sunday Esan, at a three-day training sponsored by the Pan-African conglomerate, for journalists in the geo-political zone.
He described the roles of journalists in any society as critical because both the governed and the government rely solely on them for information to better the society.
He submitted that the practitioners could not afford to be less professional and ethical to meet the yearnings of the society, saying that that was the reason why the company sponsored the training which aimed at fine-tuning the journalists for modern-day expectations in view of the evolution of the social media.
He urged the media practitioners to look at the business side of the practice while discharging their duties.
Speaking one after another during the training themed “The Convergence Journalism” organized by Folio Media & Creative Academy, the resource persons stated that though the ethics of the profession of journalism remain sacrosanct, the practitioners must not lose sight of the marketing side of their job.
Dr Victor Ogwezzy, a Communication and Brand management expert said marketing in the media is everybody’s business without which no media organization would survive.
According to him, media practitioners should be mindful of their own personal survival and that of the organizations in which they are working and take marketing seriously.
Besides, Dr Ogwezzy, who is the Chief Responsibility Officer of B2B Matrix Ltd., said journalists also have the responsibility to ensure contents in their newspapers, radio and television are good enough to attract quality readership and audience which will translate to income through advertisement.
He explained that gone were the days where the business of marketing was left purely for the business development executives in the media organizations and that journalists equally have roles to play in marketing. He added that some media organizations’ inability to pay their workers could be partly attributed to the non-recognition of the seriousness and importance of marketing in the media.
Another speaker, Dr. Jide Johnson, a seasoned media practitioner who is the Director, Special Programmes at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) underscored the importance of the media in the society, saying no one can do without newspaper, radio, television, phone, data, airtime, which are examples of media.
“Imagine waking up in a day and there was no more radio, television, newspaper or internet, it would look as if the world no longer exist,” he said.
While Mr Lekan Otufodunrin, a former Managing Editor and a Media Career Development Specialist stressed the importance of new media in journalism work and the need for all practitioners to rise to the occasion.
He regretted that some media practitioners still delude themselves by thinking they are gatekeepers, arguing rhetorically that social media had since dismantled that gate and the access to information had been thrown wide open.
“Without using social media functionally, some of us will soon be irrelevant in the media profession. With social media, some of us can be bigger brands than the companies we work for. There is more to social media than social, it’s a professional tool for the new age journalist,” he declared.
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