Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF) on Thursday, 24th May held its 4th ‘Media Clinic’ in Kaduna North West Nigeria.
‘Media Clinic’ is an annual event that brings together Journalists, Media Executives and the Civil Society Organizations to X-ray issues that affect the media and proffer solutions for such.
With the theme: ‘The Media and Ethical Reporting’ the 2018 Media Clinic examined the laid down rules and principles guiding journalism profession in Nigeria and how well journalists have maintained ethical standards in carrying out their responsibilities of informing, educating and enlightening the public.
This was aimed at engaging and encouraging participants especially journalists to ensure best practices that do not compromise ethical standards as they explore the opportunities available to them for agenda setting.
Delivering the keynote address, Mallam Adamu Ladan, Station Manager of Freedom Radio, Kaduna, Nigeria reminded participants that journalism requires a high degree of public trust. Hence, journalists and Media Organizations must ensure high professional and ethical standards to earn and maintain this trust.
Ladan noted that the theme was apt considering the challenge the media is faced with especially with the proliferation of the online platforms where every writer on social media claims to be a journalist.
He enjoined journalists to hold onto the principle of truth which is the corner stone of journalism without throwing caution to the wind.
Ladan maintained that it is the duty of every professional journalist to observe the ethics of the profession which include: editorial independence, accuracy and fairness, respect for the privacy of individuals and their families unless it affects public interest, decency language and appearance, reward and gratification, discrimination and social responsibility among others.
He commended AMDF for providing a platform for media practitioners to come together and open up on issues that affect them.
Panel discussion and interactions at the Clinic centered on challenges limiting journalists from adhering strictly to the ethics of the profession, mainly the inability of Media proprietors to pay their employees which has exposed many journalists to unethical practices to make ends meet.
Also, the engagements of non professionals for cheap labour by media organizations which has given rise to unprofessional conducts.
Participants noted different media organizations owe their staff several months of salaries with an average pegged at two (2) years. However, journalists were encouraged to in spite of such challenges maintain the highest degree of professionalism in carrying out their mandate.
Among steps to address the issues mentioned, participants called for collaboration between AMDF and Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) to pursue an amendment of the Nigerian Press Council Act to among other things accommodate present realities challenging journalism profession in Nigeria.