Emeka Ejide, publisher of ‘Market Voices’ newspaper, Awka has called on the Federal Government to give bailout to print media to save it from extinction.
The publisher, who made the call while speaking with journalists in Awka on Wednesday, said this would reduce the rate at which papers fizzle out of existence.
He said that many of the print media houses could no longer pay salaries of their workers due to the prevailing economic recession in the country, adding that organisations had played significant roles in the match to Nigeria’s independence.
“Since Nigeria attained independence, the print journalism sub sector has suffered heavy harassment and intimidation from the hands of those that benefited from the struggles it helped to achieve,’’ he said.
The publisher added that many journalists could no longer meet the expectations of shaping the society and setting agenda due to harassment and harsh environment.
“Because of the hazardous operational environment, particularly during the military regimes and emergence of capitalist owners, newspapers lost their mission of giving voice to the voiceless and became propaganda machines.
“It is unfortunate that due to this lack of focus, journalists are now next to beggars because the capitalists refused or cannot pay their salaries,” he said.
Mr. Ejide said his newspaper, an open market based publication, was conceived to connect the government and people with the goings on in various markets.
The publisher said that Nigerian market had been under-reported in spite its crucial role in the economy.
He, however, expressed hope that buyers and sellers would become more aware as the paper hoped to inform them on events in Onitsha, Lagos, Kano, Aba, Ibadan and markets across the country.
“We recognised that the people in our markets have been contributing their quota towards the building and development of the Nation.
“The Market Voices hopes to put this issues in front burner and help shape our market structure. We believe that by grace of God, we shall not go the way of others,’’ he said.
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