President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote has charged media practitioners on professionalism and high ethical standard in the discharge of the duties as the watchdog of the society.
He gave the charge in Abeokuta during a three-day training sponsored by the Pan-African conglomerate, for journalists from across the South-West geo-political zone in the country.
Speaking, the senior general manager, Branding and Communication, Dangote Industries Limited, Mr Sunday Esan said the role of the journalists is very critical in the society as both the governed and the government rely solely on the media for information to better the society.
Therefore, he said media practitioners could not afford to be less professional and ethical to meet the yearnings of the society pointing out that was the reason for sponsoring the training which aimed at fine tuning the journalists for modern day expectation in view of the evolution of the social media.
Speaking one after another during the training themed ‘The Convergence Journalism” organised by Folio Media & Creative Academy, the resource persons stated that though the ethics of the profession of journalism remain sacrosanct, the practitioners must not lose sight of the marketing side of their job.
A communication and brand management expert, Dr. Victor Ogwezzy, said marketing in the media is everybody’s business without which no media organisation would survive.
According to him, media practitioners should be mindful of their own personal survival and that of the organisations in which they are working and take marketing seriously.
He mentioned some newspapers which bothered less about marketing side of the business, but which today are now off news stand and thus throwing their workers into the unemployment market.
Besides,. Ogwezzy, who is the chief responsibility officer of B2B Matrix Limited said journalists also have the responsibility to ensure contents in their newspapers, radio and television are good enough to attract quality readership and audience which will translate to income through advertisement.
He explained that gone were the days were the business of marketing was left purely for the business development executives in the media organisations and that journalists equally has roles to play in marketing.
He added that some media organisations inability to pay their workers could be partly attributed to non-recognition of seriousness and importance of marketing in the media.
Another speaker, a seasoned media practitioner who is the director, Special Programmes at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Dr. Jide Johnson underscored the importance of the media in the society, saying no one can do without Newspaper, radio, television, phone, data, airtime, which are examples of media.
According to Johnson, journalists should be conscious of the huge responsibility put on their shoulders by the Nigerian Constitution, which is holding government accountable for its actions and serving as the voice of the people.