The Nigerian Guild of Editors rose from its 13th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference (ANEC) and Extraordinary Convention 2017 stressing the need for editors to pay special attention to thebusiness angle of journalism.
This is, among other things, to ensure the continued sustenance of their organisations and save them as individuals from poverty after resignation from practice.
The position of the editors is contained in a communiqué signed by Mrs. Funke Egbemode and Victoria Ibanga, who are respectively president and secretary of the guild.
The conference which was held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, from September 20-24, 2017, has as its theme, “Balancing Professionalism, Advocacy and Business.”
Declared open by Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers State, the opening ceremony was chaired by Malam Ismaila Isa Funtua, while Aremo Segun Osoba, former Governor of Ogun State, was the chairman of the conference.
Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of The Interview, Mr. Azubuike Ishiekwene, delivered the keynote address.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, sister associations and unions like the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), and the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) gave goodwill messages.
In the highlights of the decision reached at the conference, the NGE lamented the state of recession adversely affecting the media industry and called for the government to ensure a conducive atmosphere to make the media flourish.
It encouraged editors to venture into other money generating ventures to ensure that they would not go into penury soon after ending their editorial work.
Journalism schools and Mass Communication departments across the country were also advised to lay emphasis on business courses in their curricular.
This, it was said, would help prepare future editors for the business of the media industry.
The communiqué reads in part:
“That the media industry has been and is still experiencing a crisis of recession, which presupposes that government would need to do more to ensure a conducive environment for the media to flourish.
“ That there is a need for Editors, while remaining professionally excellent, to also explore other revenue yielding ventures or business prospects to ensure that life after their editorial assignments is not nightmarish.
“ That Editors in addition to their editorial functions, should concern themselves with the business side of the media industry to ensure that their establishments thrive, and that their venture into business upon retirement will be knowledge-based and experience-enriched from their service years.
“That Mass Communication Departments and Journalism training institutions include business courses in their curricular so as to prepare future editors for the business of the media industry.
“ That the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN) and other media stakeholders collaborate to ensure the setting up of newsprint production companies and resuscitation of the moribund one in Oku Iboku, Akwa Ibom State, to address the crisis of high cost of imported newsprints.
“Appeals to the Federal and state governments to pay outstanding gratuities and pensions of retired Editors and other classes of retirees to make life after retirement less stressful.
“The Guild commends the Nigerian Army and other security agencies for their efforts in curtailing activities of insurgents, militants and other groups threatening peace and security of the country.
“The Guild regrets the encroachment on its land in Guzape, Abuja and appreciates the promise by the FCT Minister to redress the situation.
“The Guild commends its members for their cooperation and support, which led to the successful amendment of its Constitution.
“The Guild expresses gratitude to the Rivers State Governor, Barr. Nyesom Wike, for his magnanimity in hosting ANEC back to back successfully and applauds the significant level of infrastructure development recorded in the state under his watch.”