THE Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) is set to partner with the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) to checkmate quacks and promote professionalism in the media industry of the country.
The NUJ National President, Mr Chris Isiguzo made this known when a delegation from NIPR led by its president, Mukhtar Zubairu Sirajo visited the NUJ National Secretariat on Wednesday in Abuja.
Isiguzo said that the NUJ and NIPR were worthy partners in Project Nigeria, adding that they had reasoned and visited places to ensure that they built Nigeria.
According to him, there is no any professional group that has not got its fair share of quacks, adding that NUJ has taken the matter very seriously.
He said it was regrettable that people who do not have anything to do with the media were appointed into media-related positions and organisations.
The NUJ President said the union had established mechanisms for checking quackery in the profession in the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory.
“This is because there are people who tend to bring shame and bad names to the professionals.”
Isizuzo reiterated that the union was doing a whole lot, adding that with NIPR joining in the struggle, something better would be achieved.
“We have started taking steps to address these anomalies as the case may be; the NUJ, Nigerian Guild of Editors and Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria have really formed a very strong partnership.
“Now we are bringing Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) on board; I think the NIPR should equally join us so that it would be a collective effort, and all of us speaking in one language.
“So I assure you that in our next engagement, NIPR will be equally and adequately represented, so that we can operate together.
“However, before long, we are going to come up with a framework on media practice, even though we have laws, most times we don’t understand what is in those books.
“For NUJ, we are still thinking that we can come up with something that can work for us, where we would be able to regulate ourselves to a very large extend.
“We are also working on the Journalism Enhancement Bill, which if passed into law would enable us check the activities of quacks and social media operators who spread fake news,’’ Isiguzo said
On development journalism, he said that had been his mantra since he became the president of NUJ.
“I have always stressed the need for us to practice the journalism that builds and not the one that pulls down.
“This because, no matter what we do, there is only one country that we can call our own, which is the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We cannot continue to pander to the wings and caprices of political actors, whose mission and interest most times is not nationalistic but individual and that has been our pain,’’ he said,
Isiguzo explained further that with perception managers and information managers coming together to set the right agenda, Nigeria’s future remains bright.
He emphasized that journalists should begin to assert their authority in agenda setting, stressing that when they set the right agenda, “the country flies with it and verse versa”.
“So this is not the time to apportion blames; as journalists and perception managers, we should come together and build our country because the integrity of this nation is very important.
“We must begin to discuss Nigeria, not on religious lines but competence and capacity and the one that has the magic wand to turn around the country for good.
“We may not be excited about where we are today, but we are better than the United States at this level, because, when they were where we are today, their condition was worse than us,’’ Isisguzo said.
Speaking earlier, Sirajo said NIPR executives were at the National Secretariat of the NUJ on a fraternal visit and to underscore the fact that the two professions – journalism and public relations needed come together.
According to him the togetherness becomes necessary, especially at this point in the history of the country when things need to improve tremendously.
“For a long while the NIPR has been on a single minded mission to ensure that professionalism takes root in the media and public relations sectors.
“If you look at our general setting, most people who parade themselves as perception managers, media gurus, etc, but when you look deep, you will discover that they are quacks.
“We are here to see how we can partner with NUJ to see how we can weed out quacks in these two professions and also enhance adherence to the code of ethics and professionalism.
“I want to appreciate the NUJ on tackling quackery, but however, we need to do more and give our profession the golden place they deserved,’’ Sirajo said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that present at the occasion were Shuaibu Liman, National Secretary of NUJ, the FCT Council Chairman, Emmanuel Ogbeche, and his Secretary Ochiaka Ugwu, Nasarawa State Council Chairman and his Secretary Salihu Mohammed Alkali and Sunday John respectively and some other NUJ officials. (NAN)