By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Based on several unfavourable conditions experienced in the course of carrying out their duties, the media is on trial.
Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State on Media and Publicity, Mr. Samuel Aruwan expressed this in his remarks at the 2018 World Press Freedom Day organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kaduna State Council on Thursday.
“As a professional journalist in public service within the last three years, I can say without any reservation, that media is on trial with herculean challenges from poor remuneration, risks and hazards of the job and also unethical practice by bad eggs in the profession whose conduct and attitude question our integrity and credibility,” he said.
He said that though journalism is an interesting job which is inevitable in purposeful nation building, there is the need for media scholars, media owners, rights community and the leadership of the NUJ to birth a fresh campaign against unethical practice and abuse of media power.
“I am not an advocate of any sort of clampdown on the media, but I am a strong advocate of freedom of press and expression. On the other hand, considering the negative consequences of unethical journalism leading to deepening ethno-religious crisis, religious extremism and crises of all kinds, it is expedient to tame the monster from consuming all of us someday,” he warned.
He emphasized that journalism must be rescued from agents of hate, religious and ethnic extremism, whose focus is to deepen dichotomies along religious and political lines and tear the country’s unity apart.
Aruwan said that the Kaduna State Government being conscious of the imperative role played by the media, will collaborate to endure that journalism is practiced and separated from sentiment and emotions.
“We must do social re-engineering that will birth a path of ethical and responsible journalism anchored around the principles of balance, objectivity, fairness and impartiality,” he advised.