Amidst Nigeria’s escalating economic and security issues, media professionals were urged to play a pivotal role in preventing the nation from succumbing to despair. This consensus emerged during the 22nd anniversary celebration of Oodua Newspaper, a regional publication focusing on Yoruba-speaking states. The event also marked the official launch of its news website at the Dapo Aderogba Hall of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, Press Centre in Ibadan over the weekend.
Prominent Islamic cleric and Spiritual Head of Shafaudeen-In-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabit Olagoke, JP, along with former Ambassador to the Philippines, Ambassador Yemi Farounbi, shared insights on media navigation in the current landscape.
They emphasized the importance of media objectivity, ethics, accountability, and its role in holding the government accountable. Key points included a call for increased investment in investigative journalism and a focus on solutions-based reporting.
Addressing the theme “Media Practice Amid Economic and Security Challenges,” Prof. Olagoke stressed the need for media practitioners to diversify their income sources, invest in vocational skills, and undergo continuous capacity building. He urged media professionals to utilize their platform for positive impact, promoting unity and happiness while cautioning against involvement in cybercrime.
Guest lecturer Ambassador Farounbi highlighted the media’s duty to expose corruption, impunity, and injustice, emphasizing the importance of offering solutions and inspiring hope. He advocated for a strong, independent media free from government influence and stressed the adaptation to new technologies.
Senator Sharafadeen Alli, represented by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Akeem Abas, called for policies supporting media sustainability, innovation, and investigative journalism.
He stressed the need to protect journalists in conflict zones, promote media literacy, and counter misinformation through fact-checking.
In conclusion, the collective effort of lawmakers, media organizations, and the public was emphasized to create an environment supporting media sustainability, protecting journalists, promoting media literacy, and upholding the principles of a free press.
Senator Hosea Ayoola Agboola, Chief Host and chairman of Oodua Newspaper, expressed gratitude to stakeholders for keeping the tabloid relevant and accessible to Yoruba-speaking people.