By Daud Olatunji
ABEOKUTA—The Media owners and Nigerian journalists have been advised to work more on how to reposition the industry in order to change its poor representation in the global media structure.
A Professor of Political Communication, Ayo Olukotun, said this yesterday, while delivering an inaugural lecture titled: ‘Governance and the media in an emergent democracy: A study of the role, record and changing profile of the Nigerian media 1999 -2017.’
The inaugural lecture was organised in honour of the Awujale and Paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona by the Oba Adetona Professorial Chair in Governance, Department of Political Science, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye.
The lecture, which was held at the Adeola Odutola hall, Ijebu Ode, coincided with the 83rd birthday of the Awujale.
Prof. Olukotun noted that the only thing Nigeria has to project at the global level is the Nollywood.
Olukotun said Nigerian journalists had a number of challenges confronting them, which includes irregular payment of salaries, harassment and intimidation from government among others.
However, he noted that the period between 1999 and 2017 witnessed phenomenal expansion in the media industry as a result of the liberalised political space.
He said the period reinforced Nigeria’s position as the country with the largest and most vibrant media industry in Africa, followed by South Africa and Kenya.
“So far, however, outside Nollywood, Nigeria is poorly represented in global media structures, considering that it lacks contra-flow power, which can project Nigerian narratives on the scale of Al-Jazeera”, he said.
Prof Olukotun, while proffering solutions to the challenges facing Nigerian media, said: ”Looking ahead, the media will have to maintain, even enlarge the crusading and reformist outlooks with which they have been historically associated.
“To do this, they must increase efforts to rid their ranks of corruption, as well as ensure that employers of media pay their workers, as and at when due.”
He however ,argued that there was nothing wrong with regional newspapers or community ones, urging them to project national issues.
He canvassed the model of journalists becoming owners of media,saying, if sustained, it has the potential to redefine journalism practice in the country.
Dignitaries at the event include; Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, former deputy governor of Ogun State, Senator Adegbenga Kaka and the host, Oba Sikiru Adetona and his Olori, Kemi and the acting Vice-Chancellor, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Prof. Ganiyu Olatunde among others.