The current conditions in which journalism is operated in Nigeria has raised several concerns among practitioners.
This primed the tone for discussion at the ‘Journalism Welfare’ campaign organised on Tuesday by the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism in Abuja.
Issues ranging from adequate remuneration to security concerns as well as adherence to the journalism code of ethics by media houses and journalists, were thoroughly discussed.
At the event attended by journalists from various branches (print, broadcast, online, etc), many suggestions on how to improve the welfare of journalists in Nigeria were proposed.
On the issue of media business economics, suggestions on how to explore more options of profit making aside advertisements and circulation were made.
Dapo Olorunyomi, PREMIUM TIMES’ publisher, said one of the major problems of the media was the business model through which most media houses are run.
He said business models based on advertising can no longer work in the country. He suggested that media owners come up with innovative ways to make money based on the platforms they operate in order to sustain the business.
He also said sustaining democracy is largely dependent on an effective media and an effective media is largely dependent on adequate remuneration.
The president of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Waheed Odusile, added that more than half of the media houses in the country do not pay their staff when due.
The discussions also revealed that there were attempts by the NUJ to address the conditions of service for journalists in 1986 and 2007.
On the issue of having people from different fields like engineering or medicine becoming practicing journalists, resolutions that there should be professional accreditation for such were made.
In the course of the discussion, journalists also shared their personal experiences of situations where they were not properly remunerated for the work they do.
A representative of Reboot, Chioma Chuka, also discussed with journalists on messaging and communication design to aid journalism welfare.
After mapping out the problems which include security, inadequate or no remuneration for service, no benefits and unsustainable media business models among others; there were discussions around the goal for adequate welfare for journalists.
Salary payments when due, pension, insurance, transport, airtime and data allowances, among many others were highlighted as things that need to be put in place to attain the goal of journalism welfare.
For security, Adeboro Odunlami from Paradigm Initiative gave tips on how journalists can stay safe online. She added that access to more tips is possible through safeonline.ng
She added that one could also access help if hacked by sending a mail to email@example.com