The Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has urged media practitioners in the country to focus more on nation building.
The NIPR President, Mr Muktah Sirajo made the appeal during a courtesy visit to the National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. Chris Isiguzo, in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
According to him, the two professions of journalism and Public Relations need to come together to apply themselves to make sure that the society is not broken.
“The two professions of journalism and Public Relations need to come together especially at this point in the history of our country when things need to improve tremendously and they are two professions that can only be toyed with at the peril of whatever society is careless enough to toy with them. But, that is when the two professions come together to apply themselves appropriately to their roles and to the expectations of the profession,“ Mr. Sirajo said.
He explained that communication could be used to relaunch the society.
The NIPR president also said that it was important to change public perception about journalism and public relations to ensure that professionalism is applied.
He therefore called for the cleansing of the journalism profession to rid it of impostors who tarnish the image of the profession.
“It is not today that the journalism profession has been actually ridden with the problem of quackery. Of criminals parading themselves as journalists. I have had opportunities to discuss how much quackery and criminals are giving our profession a very bad name and the need for us to come together to put up a common front so that we can kill that hydra headed monster.”
In his response, the National President of the NUJ, Mr. Chris Isiguzo, said that it was time journalists and perception managers began to set the right agenda.
“As journalists, we must begin to assert our authority in agenda setting and was must begin to set the right agenda because when we set the right agenda, the country flies with it. If we set the wrong agenda, the country also flies with it. And all of us are going to rip bountifully from the agenda that we succeeded in setting. So, this is a time not for us to throw tantrums, it’s not a time for us to apportion blame. It’s not a time to begin to pick who has failed and who has succeeded. Because if this country fails, all of us have failed. If the country succeeds, all of us have succeeded. So, as journalists, as perception managers, we must come together and build this nation.“ Mr Isiguzo said.
He said it was time to bring to discuss Nigeria, not along religion or ethnic lines but by talking about competence, capacity and development of the country.
The NUJ President noted that on the issue of quackery in journalism, the union has taken steps to rectify the system.
“Across the state council, we have established mechanisms for checking quackery. We are doing a whole lot in that regard”.
He said that the NUJ is also working on the Journalism Enhancement Bill to curb impostors of the profession.
Mr Isiguzo therefore appealed to the government at all levels to accord media practitioners their special status by appointing registered journalists as information managers.
Voice of Nigeria