By Frederick Peters, KADUNA
NEWSDAILYNIGERIA– The National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Chris Isiguzo, has wished Nigerian Journalists a happy new year 2022, while hoping that the year will bring good news and be a rewarding one for media professionals and the industry. in the country.
He however lamented the unfavorable conditions faced by Journalists in the course of their duties in the previous year, with renewed hope and assurances that things will turn for good in the New year.
He disclosed this in his New Year message/ statement on Monday in Abuja, where he further called for better understanding of the media by governments at all levels as we march towards the 2023 elections, saying
” We wish Journalists in Nigeria a happy new year 2022 and hope that the year will bring forth good tidings for Media Professionals and the Media Industry.
” We note the difficult times the media went through in the previous year with very unpalatable consequences., some of which include the COVID 19 Pandemic that ravaged the global economy and put so much pressure on the Media Industry.
” Related to this was the rise in fake news and hate speeches that had so much negative effect on the industry. We have witnessed copious volumes of falsehood and distortions about COVID 19 Vaccines which have costs so much lives all over the World, and unfortunately these have found their way into Traditional Media outlets that should ideally be sources of credible news.”he stressed
He further said ” As we look ahead to 2022 with renewed hope and expectations, it is germane to urge the media to assist in addressing these shortcomings through media literacy interventions to help the less exposed citizens in various aspects of human endeavours. Especially, it is desirous that Journalists work more towards educating people and explaining the status of fake news and hate speech to discourage citizens from growing more politically cynical. Indeed, addressing such cynicisms ahead of the 2023 national elections in the Country will improve democratic participation of the citizenry.
” We equally hope to see a better understanding by the various Governments at the State and Federal levels towards the media specifically as it relates to providing the necessary assistance to ameliorate the difficulties that the media industry had gone through in the past couple of years. It is instructive therefore, to note that the survival of Nigeria as a political entity will depend to a large extent on getting it right in 2023 national elections. Certainly, it will be foolhardy to ignore the precarious situation of the media industry presently.”
According to him ” Another area of concern is the issue of welfare of media professionals. We believe and insist that enhancing the emoluments and other entitlements of persons who work in the media will have positive impact on our democracy. It will be reckless to assume that not doing so is not important and can be wished away in the usual clumsy manner.
” Finally, while reiterating our commitment towards improving the fortunes of the Media Industry and Media Professionals in the new year, we renew our appeal to the States and Federal Governments to work closely with the Union in ensuring the safety and security of Journalists especially now that we are getting set for the 2023 national elections.
Once more, Happy New Year to us all as we look forward to a rewarding 2022.” he added