The call was made by the former chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, in Kwara State, elder Stephen Oni while speaking at the 2020 Press Week programme of the National Orientation Agency, NOA, kwara State Chapter, held at the agency Headquarters in Ilorin
Elder Oni, a veteran Journalist who spoke on the topic “The Roles of Journalism in Nation Building” said Journalism is very germane and paramount in attaining the much needed peace and development in the country.
“There is no iota of doubt that our dear country, Nigeria, is in dire straits, confronted with so many odds seeking to bring it to its knees. Sadly, the horror news we hear, virtually on daily basis, have to do with issues of the seemingly intractable Boko Haram insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives, kidnapping, armed robberies and the ceaseless herdsmen/farmers violent clashes, among others”
“Hence, the need to rebuild the country which has been shaken to its foundation. In this unfortunate circumstance, the role of journalism is very germane and paramount, being a veritable vehicle to shape ideas, mould public opinions, influence citizenry’s behaviours and promote policies that can guarantee peace and high quality of life”
“It has therefore been argued that development, be it economic, social or political, would continue to be a mirage in a nation, including Nigeria, except the citizenry embrace the ideals of nation building and crises resolution through journalism”
Stressed that, Basically, three roles of informing, educating and entertaining the society have been ascribed to journalism, said aside these three unique conventional roles, journalism is also seen as performing the role of persuasion, where Journalists “applying persuasive efforts to influence people’s actions towards a particular direction. The mass media are therefore seen for their role in furnishing the public with necessary information to achieve developments or change goals.”
He, also applauded the contributions of journalists to the growth of the country in all ramifications said “despite all odds, Journalism has contributed immensely to the growth of this country, and also in ensuring an enabling environment in which the citizenry, to a large extent, have become involved in the process of nation building”
The veteran Journalist, however called on the government to give all possible support to the media to enable it fully perform its arduous roles of nation building, said government should consider resuscitating the moribund Oku Iboku papermill, Iwopin papermill and the one in Jebba, Kwara state, to reduce the high costs of newsprints.
He, also urged government to give waivers to the Newspapers houses while importing the newsprints said “Cost of importation of newsprints has dealt a death knell to some newspapers in the country, while the few ones still struggling to exist are not finding it funny at all”
In a similar development, another former Chairman of the state Council of the NUJ, Alhaji Tunde Akanbi was decorated as pioneer patron of the National Orientation Agency, NOA, chapel under the NUJ at the event.