Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday, in Lagos called on leaders of Nigeria’s media industry to rise up against bastardisation of the profession.
Osinbajo represented by his spokesman, Mr Laolu Akande, at the 2019 Biennial convention of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) in Lagos, called on professionals to evolve strategies to take back the media space infiltrated by unethical practices with the advent of the social media.
He said that the advent of the new media had increased misinformation through the spread of fake news and other negative reports that often caused confusion, disaffection and disunity.
He called on editors to evolve strategies that would keep journalism in its place as the digital media appeared to be moving away from the newsroom to the clouds.
Osinbajo said that the role of newspaper was gradually being usurped as the print media continued in its pursuit of traffic rather than accuracy.
“Fake news will make media practice lose its appeal, it will challenge the credibility which is the base of our practice,” he said.
He called on editors to consciously take back the space by infusing online media practice with traditional and professional competence; and also challenge the wrongs in the industry.
“Some people must take up the role of speaking against the bastardisation of journalism by the new media.
“And it is better that some of our leaders in the profession should take on that responsibility,” the Vice President said.
He called for resuscitation of investigative journalism to tackle most of the challenges the country was facing and help the government plan better.
He called on media stakeholders to equip newsrooms with gadgets and technologies that could detect and remove fake images from news items.
While commending efforts of past veterans who made a mark in the field of journalism, Osinbajo urged today’s journalists to ensure accurate, fair, balanced and objective reportage at all times.
He called for adherence to ethical standards, adding that the NGE represented the place of mentorship for journalists.
He charged the NGE and media owners to review remuneration of journalists to enhance their welfare and efficiency.
The vice president noted that the survival of the media was systematically dependent on continuous entrenchment of democracy.
He called for support of the media in publishing progresses recorded by the Buhari-led administration.