Ajimobi Commends Journalists For Entrenching Democracy

Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State on Friday commended journalists? for their? role ?in entrenching democracy in the country.

Ajimobi? made the commendation ?while declaring open the 2013 National Convention of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) in Ibadan.

The governor, however, said that online journalism posed a threat and challenge to mainstream ?journalism.

The governor said this was because the profession had been infiltrated by non-professionals who malign the reputation of people.

Ajimobi urged the NGE and other journalists in the country to convene a Media Reform Conference to find solutions to the challenges facing the Nigerian ?media.

In his valedictory speech, the outgoing President of ?the NGE, Mr Gbenga Adefaye, ?said his administration performed excellently in building the capacity of editors through training.

Adefaye said his executive successfully refocused editors on national issues through different annual conferences between 2009? and 2012.

He said that the proceedings of the annual conferences had been compiled into a book.

“The material achievements are okay. But what I consider our greatest achievement was the fierce defence of press freedom and expansion of the frontiers of free speech which in my view is the number one mandate of the Guild,'' he added.

Adefaye said the media successfully?halted the passage of ?the Nigerian Press and Journalism Council Bill “ ?through a very innovative approach of lobbying.''

He also said the?NGE??took the lead in getting the sixth National Assembly to pass the Freedom of Information Bill which President Goodluck Jonathan signed into law.

In his report, the General Secretary of NGE, Mr Isaac Ighure, recalled the activities of the secretariat in the last four years.

He said the secretariat had gone a long way in improving ICT facilities and ensuring ?that it was able to reach editors operating even in areas considered remote in the country.

“It is gladdening that we have been able to achieve that goal with the provision of a new HP computer by the secretariat to reach a lot more editors anytime.

“Regrettably, however, we have yet to attain the zenith of our ambition to reach every editor in the land at the touch of a key on the computer,’’ Ighure said.

Also speaking, the Chairman of the occasion, Mr Ray Ekpu, described? journalism as a difficult profession.

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