From Suleiman Idris, Lagos
A former Dean at the School of Communication, Lagos State University (LASU), Professor Lai Osho has urged media organisations in Nigeria to stop giving voice to disruptive issues and instead use the media space to help citizens build consensus.
Osho gave the advice at a three-day retreat organised by the Lagos State Government for Correspondents covering activities of the Governor’s Office.
Osho said as development partners, the media has the responsibility to report good governance, adding that journalists and their employers should desist from what he termed “dangerous discusses” in the bid to increase ratings, draw traffic to their websites or sell newspapers as the case may be.
“The media must provide a space for consensus building. There is too much confrontation, opposition and threatening messages. You’ll find out that some of our so called leaders, the way they present issues tend to antagonize other people. I don’t think media organisations should lend their spaces to such dangerous discusses.
On the issue of objectivity, the University Don admitted it is sometimes difficult to achieve because of pecuniary factors but however appealed to reporters to always ensure balance.
While canvassing better working conditions for journalists in the country, Professor Osho decried the commercialization of news.
In his welcome address, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, Mr. Habib Aruna said that the three-day refresher course was organised because of the dynamism of reporting events at the State House and the need to furnish correspondents covering the beat with information that could enhance their reportage.
Also speaking, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde said the training was meant to upgrade the skills of correspondents covering activities of government for better performance.