Media ownership working against national interests in news coverage – Iredia
Dr. Toni Iredia, a former Director-General, Nigerian Television Authority, has said the interests of media owners was affecting reporters’ desire to promote national interests in their reportage.
Iredia said on Tuesday in an address at the National Broadcasting Commission 2017 Summit in Jos, Plateau State which was themed “Broadcast Content Development and Peaceful Coexistence.”
He said, “Media owners usually have their interests and insist that such interests must be projected even if it is against the national interest.”
Iredia said that media owners had often dictated what media managers sent out for public consumption “whether good or bad”.
He said: “A major headache in the broadcast industry today is hate speech. Such speeches are promoted by the proprietors of media outfits; unfortunately, such individuals and groups are so powerful that even regulating agencies like the NBC cannot sanction them.
“For instance, whatever the Minister of Information directs the NTA news content managers to do, they must obey because they have no other option.”
The broadcaster advised media managers to respect diversity and play up areas of common interest so as to promote mutual affection and peaceful coexistence.
He also called for a sustained action plan for peace building, and emphasised the need for intermediary channels with focus on peace messages.
Iredia urged newsmen to be bold enough to carry out their statutory role of agenda setting
He said: “Journalists should not allow themselves to be pushed around. They must strive, as professionals, to determine public discourse so as to determine the path of national growth.
“The newsmen must avoid a situation where politicians set the agenda and only use the media to propagate it.”
He commended the NBC for the summit which he said would educate broadcast stations on what Nigerians expected of them.