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.”
‘It is disingenuous to accuse everyone who calls for restructuring as trying to break up the county. History tells us that that kind of cheap blackmail will not work as long as the underlying reasons for the agitations persist.’
‘The biggest challenge seems to be that we seem to be allowing moderate voices on this issue to be drowned out by the reckless utterances of a few rabble rousers on all sides who may be tools in the hands of those who do not wish this country well. These are some of the people who arrogate to themselves the toga of spokespersons of our diverse groups.’
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