Media owners in Nigeria have been encouraged to work for the society through the promotion of human angle stories that are credible and touch the lives of the people positively, so that the station or media house will have credibility.
Speaking in Gombe, at a training for women journalists, organised by the Gombe State Chapter of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, Mr. Job Guyson, a Lecturer with the Nigerian Television Authority College, in Jos, Plateau State, said media owners tend to ignore issues that border on the society and its development, but favour the people that occupy offices in the government.
Mr. Guyson lamented that most often; media organisations lose their credibility, reputation and subsequently the followership, unknowingly, due to their focus on commercial news at the detriment on development and human angle stories.
He said understanding the Freedom of Information Act would provide the journalists with sufficient weapons to stamp out corruption in its entire ramification.
Mr. Guyson, said it all depends of the understanding of both media owners and reporters in such media organisation, on the fact that the media space belongs to the people and that their frontline charge is the interest of the public.
“Unless you work for the society, the credibility of your station may not be protected and it is your credibility that will sell your station. Credibility will actually bring advertisers for you. Media owners should know that if all your stories all the time about are about people occupying government offices, then it’s difficult for you to have credibility at the end of the day. And when your reputation before the eyes of the public is actually very low people will be sceptical in bringing advertisement funds to your station. They will also be sceptical in tuning to watch your station. So your patronage is very important and your patronage once it’s good, it will bring advertisers and it will make everybody want to come and do something with your media organisation, because people have this high respect,” said Mr. Guyson.
He encouraged the women journalists to concentrate more on issues that will have positive impact on the lives of the people, thereby attracting patronage to the organisation.
According to the Chairperson of the association, Mrs. Comfort Mukollo, the training has become necessary because the world was dynamic and as such the members of the association are expected to adapt to the changing trend in the profession for positive impact.
The Gombe women journalists were made to understand that the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act has become an empowerment tool in their hands and that understanding it would complement the efforts of the present government’s drive to fight corruption.
He however said the Nigerian journalists lacked the basic knowledge of the provisions of the law and the fact that it empowers them for great exploits for the development of Nigeria.
The Chairperson of the Gombe State Chapter of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, Mrs. Comfort Mukollo, said women journalists could rise to the highest position in the profession if they put in their best to it.
Just like the paper is being aptly presented, thank God the Resource Person is trying to explain how the women journalist can place herself in the society and in the scheme of her duties, so that she can stand well. So, I want to call on the women journalists to live up to the profession. We are all referred to as Gentle Men of the Press, so even by that we should know that we are supposed to work assiduously, not just see ourselves as women, as-in, in gender. We are living at the workplace as journalists and we know that there are some beats that some people fell are for women and some for men. But women can work extra. It’s all about giving them the chance or the opportunity,” Mrs. Comfort Mukollo said.
At the end of the one day training session for the Gombe women journalists, Mr. Guyson said women journalists should not allow themselves to be restricted by the gender bias laid by the society, but break the ranks that had been raised by men.
He said the knowledge of what they do and the impression they create would attract respect to them.