Thursday, October 21, 2021

Nigerian media gone atrophy, deserves subsidy – ITREALMS

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The Nigerian media in this time of current crisis before the nation has gone atrophy and deserves every support especially from the federal government of the day to help fix it, just as the Australian government has blazed the trail in salvaging the industry, reports ITREALMS.
*Dapo Olorunyomi, Publisher, Premium Times

These were some projections by the publisher, Premium Times, Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi in his keynote remarks to the 17th Annual Nigerian Guild of Editors Conference (ANEC) held Thursday at the NAF Conference Centre, Abuja, on "Media in Times of Crisis: Resolving Conflict, Achieving Consensus."

In order to fix the broken media business model in Nigeria, Mr. Olorunyomi noted that it deserves assistance than castigations from the government.

“I also argue that it can be fixed, and that the government in so far as it believes in democracy and development, has a major role to play as indeed the Australian government has shown by blazing a trail,” he said.

Seen from this perspective, he also said that Nigeria Press does not deserve the kind of rash laws poured into the National Assembly in 2019 alone; purportedly to regulate the alleged poor behavior of the press in the name of fixing what is wrong with journalism.

“We know better that this is not the case but if you engage public officials particularly those who are genuine about the matter, you see a genuine ignorance and probably a true desire to help with things,” he said.

Media organisations like the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) in collaboration with others can precisely come up with some guiding principles to help the media industry rejuvenate rather than waiting for the political class or government of the day to box it to a corner in the name of sanitizing the industry, even if its by way of subsidy.

He cited the efforts put in place by the Australian government saying that they took a sensible step with the initiative on News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code and extended this wise counsel to Mr. Lai Mohammed to borrow a leaf thereof.

As said by him, the initiative was proclaimed this way: “The News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code will address concerns identified by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in its July 2019 report on digital platforms. This report found that a substantial loss of advertising revenue over the past 15 years has left many Australian news businesses struggling to survive. Spending on print advertising fell from $7.9 billion in 2005 to just under $1.9 billion in 2018 according to the ACCC. At the same time, digital platforms are thriving. Expenditure on online advertising in Australia rose from around $1 billion in 2005 to $8.8 billion in 2018 according to the ACCC,” the publisher said.

Pointing out that no one will see the exponential information crisis of this age and not feel a sense of bother with the mindlessly raging incidents of misinformation as indeed disinformation.

“The preference for policy unnourished by knowledge is one key blemish of the current government’s view that draconian legislation is the best cure for misinformation,” he decried, . stressing that regulation is not necessarily a call to punitive legislation.

He tasked media stakeholders to take keen study using the resources of the best communication minds in the universities, which could lead to solid outcomes in ideas and policy directions capable of helping to rebuild the media and make them serve the purpose of national progress, security, and national development.

Remmy Nweke/DoP with Pix courtesy Premium Times Nigeria

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