The Acting President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Mr Mustapha Isah, says the downturn in the nation’s economy has affected media business.
Isah made this known in Sokoto on Thursday in a welcome address at the 15th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference
“We must survive in order to perform our constitutional duty of holding government to account.
“The constitution gives the media an enormous responsibility of holding governments accountable to the people without providing for us the economic and constitutional protection to do our duty.
“ The media is passing through a tough phase. We are going to survive and we will survive.
“ We will find solutions to our problems.
“The Nigerian media has a rich history. We were in the forefront in the fight against colonialism and the struggle for democracy that the country enjoys today,’’ Isah said.
According to him, this year’s ANEC with the theme, “ A Distressed Media: Impact on Government, Governance and Society ‘’, is about the media, our profession and survival.
“It is also about Nigeria and the sustenance of our democracy because without a robust media, democracy suffers,’’ he added.
He said that this year, the NGE was focusing on media as business.
The NGE boss explained that the body deliberately chose to discuss its profession this year because the media had often been accused of proffering solutions to other people’s problems and neglecting its own problems.
Isah expressed regret over the death of four editors in the last 14 months.
The deceased were, the Deputy President of the NGE, Umar-Tudun Wada, Odafe Othihiwa, Taiwo Yibowei and Chief Soye Ogboru,
Isah, however, made it clear that the NGE was not in support and would never support fake news and hate speech.
“Our members are trained professionals. It’s true that the social media space, just like any other ecosystem, is being abused by some people.
“ We wish to place on record and to remind the promoters of these bills that there are laws already in existence to deal with such infractions.
“ We should not shy away from testing these extant laws. Besides, we expect the government to work with critical stakeholders in the media industry to address these challenges,’’ he said.
Isah said Gov. Tambuwal had demonstrated once again to be a reliable friend of the media and the NGE in particular.
“We thank you, the government and the people of Sokoto State for accepting to hold this year’s conference in spite of the short notice given to you,’’ the NGE boss said. (NAN)