MEDIA stakeholders have called for industry-wide collaboration in the setting up of a framework for the regulation of journalism practice in the country.
The stakeholders include the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Newspapers Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), International Press Institute (IPI) and other media-focused groups
In a communique signed by Iyobosa Uwuguaren of the NGE, the stakeholders also recommended a timeline of six weeks for the setting up of the structure for the media regulation for review and take-off.
They also announced their position on the renewed vigour by the National Assembly to reintroduce bills which are likely to stifle media practice in Nigeria, stating that the media will continue to resist every ‘’covert or overt attempt’’ to muzzle and criminalize journalism practice in Nigeria.
The stakeholders stressed that the basic principles of good journalism practice remain the basic tenets of the profession and should be upheld at all times.
‘’We agreed that there is a need for self-regulation based on the Code of Ethics, in addition to the need for further review of the existing code.
‘’Stakeholders insist on the primacy of media freedom, and to jealously guard the same, and are not unaware of the responsibilities that come with such freedoms.
‘’Recommend the need for industry-wide involvement in the setting up of the structure for a framework for the regulation of journalism practice in the country.
‘’Therefore, the training and retraining of all segments of the media, especially editors, reporters and bureaucracy of the various media associations and unions – NPAN, NGE, NUJ and IPI should be in focus. This is to enhance professionalism, institutional memory and sustainability,” the communique said.
The stakeholders also tasked media organisations to have an in-house framework, either at the level of individual organisations or in a collective.
The groups however advised governments at all levels to desist from interfering in the editorial independence of public-owned media institutions.
Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M