By Steve Oni, Ilorin
An appeal has gone to the Federal Government to bail out media industry in the country particularly the traditional media from further distress and total collapse.
The Kwara State Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) , Mallam Umar Abdulwahab, raised the alarm on the challenges facing traditional media in Ilorin, the state capital, while answering questions on a Radio Kwara personality interview programme: “Playing Host”.
According to him, the traditional media is facing serious threat due to the emergence of the social media and the online platforms, resulting in lack of adequate patronage for the traditional media.
He lamented that the cost of newsprints is on the increase and no longer affordable for the newspaper publishers.
He recalled that when some Nigerian banks were in distress, the federal government came to their aid and therefore solicited for such financial bailout for the traditional newspapers.
Answering another question, Mallam Umar said with less than two weeks to the 2919 general elections, Nigerian journalists should be neutral in the coverage of their constitutional duties particularly in the coverage of political programmes.
Mallam Umar appealed to media practitioners to continue to uphold the ethics of the profession and guide against publishing fake news more so as it has to do with the operators of online news platforms.
The NUJ boss noted that in as much as journalists should always speak the truth and be courageous, they should ensure that they are fair in their reportage without bias.
He pleaded with journalists to only publish election results released by INEC to avoid crisis and misinformation.
According to him, the leadership of the union had embarked on issuance of national Identity cards for all members of the union and disclosed that presently, about one hundred and fifty journalists in the state have been captured and issued with their cards.
Mallam Umar disclosed that the Identity cards were meant to check quackery in the union and appealed to members to key into the project as it is a continuous exercise.
The NUJ chairman appealed to journalists in the state and the various chapels to pay their check off dues appropriately and commended the various chapel leaders for their support to his executive.
The chairman urged journalists to key into the various welfarism programmes embarked upon by the state council such as the journalists estate projects and the International Institute of Journalists (IIJ) programme.
Mallam Umar commended the state government for ensuring regular payment of salaries of media workers and the ongoing repositioning of media houses.