Monday, 31 May 2010

RE: Starving Nigerian Journalists and Blood Stained Proprietors. By Raymond Aleogho Dokpesi

My attention has just been drawn to the above mentioned article.i totally disagree with you about the outstanding salaries owed staff.although i am not involved in the day to day running of the organisation,i can tell you that nobody is owed ten months.i can tell you that all the SBU-strategic bussiness units are uptodate in their salary obligations except news.even at that the backlog is about three to four months.There are about about 1000 persons in the employment of the organisation and only about 20% are in News Department.I advise you to please cross check your facts.kindest regards.Yours Sincerely,

High Chief Raymond Aleogho Dokpesi Ph.D, OFR
DAAR Communications Plc
DAAR Communication Centre,
AIT Drive, Kpaduma Hills
Off Gen.T.Y.Danjuma Street

The owner of AIT is another study in the complexity called the traditional media in Nigeria, and the unbelievable findings are not limited to the proprietors. Some editors have become merchants, with reporters expected to “report returns” from beats through ‘brown envelopes’. The recent exposé in Punch leading to the resignation of two senior journalists seems to indicate that most editors and heads of Political Beats are either on the pay roll of top public office holders or have the flow of ink in their pens stifled by corruption.

The Nigerian media has come a long way. Over the years it still remains the most vibrant segment of the society - being resilient in the face of all the challenges that come with a developing country. Under various military dictatorships in our chequered history, the more repressive the government has been, the more dynamic the media becomes - ranging from clampdowns, closure of media houses, politically motivated arrests to the outright extra judicial murder of journalists. The media appear to have come out on top, rejuvenated and standing firm – well, in a sense.

The killing of Dele Giwa through a letter bomb highlighted the danger journalists face in the course of their duty, and since Dele’s death, it has been an endless list of murders, torture and in some cases journalists forced into exile. Such was the case of Isioma Daniels who was forced to leave Nigeria after a death sentence was passed on her by religious fanatics over her article during a Miss World event in Nigeria.

The true Nigerian journalist is surely endangered specie and it is becoming apparent that hunger is becoming a weapon of mass destruction in stifling the traditional media.

The most curious beat of all is the silence of the Nigerian Union of Journalists.........