The Director of Communications of Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, Rev Father Patrick Alumuku, on Sunday, condemned the poor welfare package of journalists in the country, calling on all owners of media houses to ensure that media practitioners are paid as at when due.
Fr Alumuku, who spoke during the 2015 World Communications Day titled:”Communicating the Family: A Privileged Place of Encounter with the Gift of Love,” organised at St. Martins Catholic Church, Mabushi in Abuja, said the development has influenced many journalists in their news reportage.
While expressing worry that many journalists are not paid their entitlements for months, the clergyman noted that the act has made them to look for money unethically.
“I do believe that a lot needs to be done in this area. I am totally unhappy about the welfare package of journalists in Nigeria today. I am not unaware that many journalists remain unpaid for months and this poses difficulty for them. Of course, it mean that journalists cannot cover any event as they should and sometimes, we accused journalists of asking for brown envelopes but if they go to cover event and they have nothing to take them back to their work or even to sustain themselves, sometimes they are tempted to ask for brown envelopes.
“I think that in not paying journalists, we are pushing them to be unethical in the work that they do. Therefore, I will like to ask those who own media institutions and houses to ensure that those they employed have their pay and through their pay, they have the dignity to do their work as they should justly, rightly and truly,” he said.
Alumuku, however, urged journalists to always live up to the virtue of their profession.
“I think that every journalist should think ethically about the values of his or her profession,” he said.
The reverend father said it was unethical for media practitioner to be partisan in their dealings.
“In the period that has just ended before the election, we saw some media people taking partisan position. It was very unethical but I believe that the time has come to reposition ourselves for the future of this country as to ensure that we as journalists are balanced in our reporting; that we remain non-partisan,” Alumuku said.
Earlier, His Holiness, Pope Francis, in his message read by Father Alumuku, said “the media can help the communication when they enable people to share their stories, to stay in contact with distant friends, to thank others or to seek their forgiveness, and to open the door to new encounters.”
“IPOB is being sponsored by those I will call the Coalition of the politically disgruntled and the treasury looters. They believe that by sponsoring this group to destabilize the country and trigger chaos, they will realize their ambition of escaping justice and then be free to dip their hands into the nation’s treasury again.”
-Lai Mohammed(Nigeria’s Information Minister on IPOB)
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