By Musa Baba Adamu
The Senate at the weekend warned media professionals to shun cash and carry journàlism, even as it admonished practitioners to be wary of tendencies likely to deviate it from the nobel assignment of keeping the watch on both society and the leaders.
Speaking in Lokaja, Kogi state capital while presenting a paper on the theme ‘Governance: How Watchful are the Watchdogs in Ensuring Accountability and Transparency’, during the 2020 Senate Press Corps retreat, the Senate President, Ahmaed Lawan, who was represented by the chairman of Senate Committee on Information and Publicity, Ajibola Basiru, said the career is facing threats due to numerous unprofessional conducts at the highest levels.
While warning that journàlism is becoming a sinking ship in Nigeria, senator Basiru called for a total reversal of the current trend in journàlism, by ensuring that mechanisms are entrenched to enforce membership sticking on ethical standards like objectivity, fairness and professionalism.
“The ship of journalism is sinking and it is sinking very fast and something drastic has to be done before it totally capsizes” he said.
According to him, unprofessional conducts like cash and carry journalism, preference for sensationalism as against news substance, news buying, among others, are the reasons behind the sinking ship of Journalism in the country.
Sensationalism he explained, should not be equated with serving as a watchdog since according to him, it not only erodes the credibility of the media, it also over the times, create doubts about the quest of the media for accountability and responsibility of the government.
“It is therefore imperative for the press to rededicate itself to proper investigative journalism with necessary thoroughness that focused of substance of findings in relation to inefficiency, waste, corruption, mismanagement and/ or misappropriation being exposed”, he said.
He added that “Corruption and bad leadership in and among the Nigerian press have escalated professional compromise which are basically unethical and subjective journalism.
He submitted that if the media ,as the watchdog of happenings in the society, particularly within the public sector, performing its role as enshrined in section 22 of the Constitution, the country would have surmounted the menace of institutionalized corruption to a very reasonable extent.