Lagos – A former Governor of Ogun, Chief
Olusegun Osoba, has said that journalism is on the brink of
extinction due to the advent of the new media.
Osoba, who is also a veteran journalist and former Managing Director
of Daily Times said this on Saturday in Lagos at the 1st Quarterly National Executive
Council (NEC) meeting of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme theme
“Journalists As Agents of Change’’ was held at the Combo Hall, Lagos
Television, Agindingbi, Ikeja.
Osoba said that journalism as a profession needed to be redirected and
refocused to meet the modern day’s demands including the internet.
“I want to touch the area that is most important to us as journalists.
We are on the brink of extinction and the media is on its way out.
“The advent of this age of internet, the electronics and the print
media must devise a way out. On You Tube now, I can download
everything with the aid of internet, everything I needed.
“For most of us in the profession, we must check the actions of
quacks and everybody claiming to be journalist; they are not members
of Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ).
“NUJ as a body needs to see that they are in charge otherwise
internet would be turned by some people to avenues of blackmail which
are perpetrated by non-professionals,’’ he said.
Osoba urged NUJ to be more proactive in dealing with quacks in
journalism, adding that there was a new order in journalism now with the
advent of internet.
“We should not allow this profession to be corrupted by few
individuals who are turned to tools in the hands of some people for
their own interest.
“Journalists must aspire to balance their stories by getting the
other side of their stories and not engaging in what I refer to as
“We may also get to a stage whereby nobody will buy newspapers
anymore. We should be ready to get to that time when newspapers would
be free and only be sustained by adverts.
“As a body, NUJ is the pivot and foundation of media. Some people
do not even go through the rudiments of journalism before they become
editors,’’ he said.
Osoba, however, advised the leadership of NUJ to be more involved in the
activities of news items on the internet, adding that the activities of
certain bloggers must be checked.
In his keynote adresss, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy,
Lagos State, Mr Steve Ayorinde, commended the contributions of
media toward ensuring good governance in the state.
“I submit with equanimity that members of NUJ especially in the
employment of the Lagos State Government have been very supportive of
our administration’s efforts in making life meaningful for the
“They have held brief for the electorate where we would have fallen
short of expectations. There have been instances where the attention
of government was drawn to the desires of the people.
“Two of such instances readily came to mind. The directive for the
construction of a second pedestrian bridge at Ojota and operation
“Light up Lagos’’.
“This has provided up to date a right illumination for some of our
major roads, including federal highways, to ensure safety of lives and
properties in the state.
“There are scenarios depicting the level of trust and confidence
reposed in members of the Fourth estate by government and the people,
as agents of change. Please guard your reputation,’’ he said.
Ayorinde said that for journalists to effectively discharge their
duties as agents of change they must be ready to speak as the
conscience of the society.
“Governance cannot be foreclosed without effective information
dissemination and management. Therefore, you should use the
opportunity afforded by your quarterly meeting to review the channels
of accessing information.
“Journalists are agents of change by virtue of your profession and
relevance to the society. The influence of information managers
affects our way of life and business, more importantly in the global
“The ripples of “Wiki-leaks’’ scandals were yet to abate; then we
were faced with the turbulence of the “Panama Papers’’. These are
attributable to investigative journalism.
“It is in this light that I challenge you to support this
administration by appropriately deploying your skills in helping to
find solutions to some of our national challenges,’’ he said.
In his Address, the National President of NUJ, Alhaji Waheed Odusile, said that
the union would no longer tolerate indebtedness to its members by
“The welfare of our members are in a sorry state; many media houses
owe our members many months of outstanding salaries; and we want to
use this opportunity to address it.
“We will not give any notice before we close down the media houses
that have succeeded in bringing our members down to their knees to
“The situation in the industry is so pathetic and we call on the
government to look into the issue of importation because bulk of the
materials used in publishing are imported into the country.
“Media depends largely on foreign exchange to buy newsprints for
production which are also heavily taxed by government. To bring down
the cost of production government must act,’’ Odusile said.
He, however, hinted that the union would be negotiating a new
salary scale for its members with the government, adding that all hands
must be on deck to make it a success.
“We are in the middle of negotiating a new media salary for our
members and I can assure you that you will have a cause to smile.
“By next week, we will seat with the Ministry of Labour and
Productivity where all issues concerning the new wage would be
discussed and hopefully, agreement would be reached,’’
NAN reports that the programme also had in attendance the Chairman,
Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Dr Rafiu Ladipo.
Others include the Guest Speaker, Mr Richard Akinola and a representative of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Tunde Braimoh.
The National Executives of NUJ from different zones across the country
were also present at the programme (NAN)