By Onyenwe Princely
Effective media reporting is a kind of communication that conveys value to the listening public and this has to be done with genuineness of purpose and professionalism in practice. Quality reports are meant to be time ranged to enclose essential contents and state of affairs.
Most times its assessments are based on the type of things people hear from the communicator or the group of individual that translates the message thus making every living thing to become a communicator at different instance. The difference in communication may differ from person to person, in terms of professionalism, experience and dedication to duties.
This day it is becoming regrettable that effective reportage is dwindling rapidly among practitioners. Students of this profession perhaps see themselves superior to other fellow students and these has made students call communicators and journalists’ noise makers and refer same as ‘talkative and parrots’. But this impression by this class of people is totally wrong. I want to put forward that media personnel are honorable and highly respected in every society.
It is believable that there are many ways and mediums of communication through Radio, Television Sets, Social Medias, Signs, coverage and Newspapers. Therefore, practitioners are expected to be conscious of what they say and how these things are being said at every giving time and circumstances.
In avoidance of hate speeches and use of words likely to course discord and set the entire environment ablaze, journalists must stop scrambling for stipend at public functions. Money that cannot add anything good or take care of reducing their family responsibilities. Most period, you can easily observe some journalists fly above the roof top and trample on fellow colleague in a horrendous battle for “pea-pay” We must seize being rude and irrational to fellow gentlemen of the press.
These observations are proficient guide against unethical conducts and unwarranted attitudes exhibited by some journalists in the state. Majority indulge in smoking of reefer and drinking irresponsibly before their quests. We have to deposit standard working moral values of emulation and to rekindle the sanity of media practice in the globe. The scrambling for stipend does not make us honorable in the supports of the public rather it affects the professional ethics.
On this therefore the national coordinator of the Association of community newspapers publishers of Nigeria ACNPN Comrade Precious Enebuse, publisher of the GRASSROOT TRUMPET NEWSPAPER and the ELITE MAGAZINE have stressed on the need for effective media reporting saying ”there is a competing need for national state and local government of the federation to partner with ACNPN in order to ensure effective reporting of government activities and achievements as well as the problems and prospects of the various communities including the urban public” and this call has made me to mediate deeply on the importance of the message of HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS for the 50th World communicators day presented to the entire humanity to invigorate the spark of reportage through communication and mercy, humanely and truth. “Our words and actions should be as much as to help us all escape the viscous circle of condemnation and vengeance which continue to ensure individual and nations expressions of hatred” We must be descent in our practice.
Professionally, the role played by the media as a vehicle for the provision of good governance in a democracy worldwide has reminded an indispensable function that must be properly harnessed and developed by every government. It is expected the ministry of information assume such as important position these days that only professionals media practitioners held the ministry and all its annex offices which at the end of every cabinet meeting is charged the responsibility of informing the citizenry about the decisions reached. In this premise, therefore the information minister or commissioner can be regarded as the spokesman of any government or of the president as the case may be.
Regrettably, a lot of information disseminated by government at the national and state levels are not properly captured by the predominantly rural communities of the 774 local governments area in Nigeria due to the distance, absence of the newspapers, radio and television outlets. Most of the citizens living in these rural areas do not have functional electricity due to malfunction of transformers and power outage cannot purchase these newspapers or watch television sets to catch up with vital information about the country, state and even news around rural territories.
Furthermore, information that is gathered proxy using the GSM or telephone is not reliable because it is not valuable and it could affect 90% of the situation in the country. Media reporters due to the poor condition of the service and starvation can no longer reach out to the rural areas to gather investigated and valuable information hence, many of them are resorting on news captured through the social network without proper investigation and verification.
Also the rate most government officials clamp on media personnel who may have reported the truth against their wishes as it were and when journalists write on the benefit advice to the government on projects, ideas and solutions taking for either correction or implementation, government don’t appreciate such journalist. But we cannot because of government intimidation compromise our responsibilities and values.
Perhaps, the question blogging the mind of media friendly individuals, newspaper publishers including the printing and publishing workers union is “how soon will the journalist reward relocate from heaven to the existing mother earth where we have remained almost the least paid professionals in the country despite the excruciating hazards of the profession which had in recent time taking the life of DELE GIWA and the incarceration of many of our professional colleagues in Africa including NDUKKA IRABOR, TUNDE Thompson from Nigeria and others.
A call in the right direction is for the government to increase the salaries of the media workers to include commensurate risk, transport and welfare allowances. There is also an appeal to the ministry of information and commissioners of information in every state to partner with ACNPN which was incorporated on the 30th of July 2012,” is a regulatory body of all community newspapers in the country”
Therefore, gentlemen of the press are saddled with the responsibility to discharge their duties professionally without hatred and prejudice which cannot be associated with quality reporting.
Princely onyenwe is a public affairs analyst, human rights activist and a renowned journalist. 08036856526.