The Nigerian Press Organisation, NPO, has banned beat associations by journalists.
A beat association is a group with membership made up of journalists from different media organisations covering a particular beat.
In a statement issued by the NPO which is made up of the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria, NPAN, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, and the Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, the associations have been outlawed.
“They are now to cease and desist from engaging journalists in such untoward conduct,” the organisation said in the statement signed by the Executive Secretary of the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria, Mr. Feyi Smith.
The organisation said the beat associations had brought about a drawback on the laudable objective of media houses deploying reporters to such outlets.
Read Also : Abuja to host next ECOWAS summit
The statement reads: “The Nigerian Press Organisation (NPO), comprising the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), has viewed with concern, the continued proliferation of Beat associations across the industry.
“This development constitutes a drawback on the laudable objective of media houses deploying reporters to such outlets, the essence of which is to enhance efficient and independent gathering of news.
“The essence of reporters in those beats, is to strengthen the operations of the media in its quest to deepen journalism and raise an army of a well informed and enlightened citizenry and actualise its constitutional responsibility of holding the government accountable to the people at all times, through well informed news and commentaries.
“Nowhere in their mandate, are they expected to form any association outside their recognised professional body, the Nigeria Union of Journalists.
“The proliferation of Beat associations, is not only corrosive of the esteemed journalism profession but also capable of lowering ethical and moral standards as well as the quality of reportage, if unchecked.
“They are now to cease and desist from engaging journalists in such untoward conduct.”