Malam Kabiru Yusuf, Chairman, Daily Trust Newspapers, on Saturday called on editors, journalists and media owners to work together to bring the nation and the media out of recession.
Yusuf made the call at the Biennial Convention of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) in Lagos.
The Convention Chairman said that the media industry began to experience recession long before it hit the nation’s economy.
He lamented that newspaper readership was on the decline and called on stakeholders to adopt strategies to save the print media.
Yusuf, however, noted that the social media was not responsible for the decline, as according to him, the decline started long before the advent of the social media.
He urged the stakeholders to collaborate to rekindle the interest to read newspapers again in Nigerians, in order for the media to continue to remain relevant.
He said that due to the decline in the purchasing power of the Naira, Publishers now published fewer copies and scrambled for adverts to survive.
“I look forward to a time when these organisations can work together,” Yusuf said.
He urged the NGE and other stakeholders to place the interest of readers above that of the political office holders, who they had a tendency to want to impress.
Mr Ronald Kayanja, Director, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Lagos while delivering his goodwill message, urged the NGE to promote ethical journalism standards.
Kayanja said that the priority of the UN was to help Nigeria achieve its agenda 2030 and urged the NGE to attend a UNIC programme coming up in New York in July.
“I will like to request the NGE to take the issue of Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030 seriously.
“We know that you editors should be the ones that know about this programme because you are the gate keepers and we, therefore, request that you set aside a session to discuss the sustainable development goals and the UN will work with you on that,” he said.
Earlier, the NGE President, Mrs Funke Egbemode, in her opening speech, urged media practitioners to be resilient as the nation was depending on journalists for its rapid development.
Egbemode said that the progress the nation had achieved so far was due to the devotion of journalists and appealed to editors to put the NGE first by upholding high ethical standards.
“This nation has come this far and will go very far because of the thoroughbreds in this room,” she said.
Egbemode urged editors to continue to unite in the passion for nation building.
“Our nation is depending on us because of the power we wield with finesse and ethical maturity. Let us use those same qualities to nurture what is ours,” she said.
The NGE president said that considerations were ongoing to conclude the ongoing review of the NGE constitution, to give the organisation a better legal framework for its activities.