Journalism at risk over internet invaders— Osoba

Chief Olusegun Osoba
Chief Olusegun Osoba

Chief Olusegun Osoba, yesterday, lamented the damage caused to print journalism by what he described as the unbalanced writing of untrained internet reporters.
Osoba, who delivered the chairman’s address at the launch of a book ‘One day and a story’, written by Mr. Dare Babarinsa, co-founder of Tell magazine, said internet invaders as well as declining interest in regular newspapers had put journalism in danger.
He said: “Our profession is in danger, because there’s a serious invasion of non-professionals, who know nothing about the ethics of journalism and who are not trained to balance their stories. I’m talking about internet invaders.
Our profession is being invaded by people, who have no training whatsoever, they don’t even ask for the other side of the story. They have become tools in the hands of people like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, blackmailing people, maligning people’s character.
“We too must invade the internet. I want to appeal to all professionals in this industry, the future of a newspaper as we know it today, is fizzling out and it will soon be dead. There will still be newspapers, as I always insist, but it will be distributed free as it is done in London. I want to appeal to media houses to counter-invade the internet and those of us who are trained and know the ethics of the profession, let us not leave it to untrained internet journalists.”
The book reviewer, Onukaba Adinoyi, said the book was woven together seamlessly like the handiwork of a master craftsman. He said: “Babarinsa writes with affection, respect and admiration for his superiors, colleagues and juniors in the profession.
He is generous in his praise and merciful in his criticism. Even where he has cause to point out human foibles, he does so with sympathy. Babarinsa is truly well brought up, what the Yoruba people call an Omoluabi. His pen has the fear of God. He treats disagreements with colleagues and bosses without malice. He is humble enough to admit his faults and misjudgments.”
Onukaba added, “One Day and a Story also profiles leaders who inspired us, such as the lives of veteran labour leader Michael Imoudu, Babangida’s Health Minister for eight years, Professor Olikoye Ransome-Kuti. He said: “There was also the case of Professor Ishaya Audu, who after serving as Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria and Minister of Foreign Affairs under President Shehu Shagari, returned to his small town of Wusasa, Zaria, to heal his people.”
Prof. Dare commended Babarinsa for being an exceptional student of his while at the University of Lagos. He said ‘he’ the author was dedicated and always willing to learn.
Responding, Babarinsa stated that only a strong media could protect democracy. He said: “We need a stronger press now more than ever, now that even those in the judiciary are being called to account. A country can not be great if it has no history, no knowledge, just a large population of ignorant people.”

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