The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Monday, called on Journalists to write books that would help to re-position the profession, especially in this era of social media.
Mohammed, represented by Mr Nnamdi Njemanze, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Press Council, made the call in an address at a book launch in Abuja.
Newsmen report that the book titled, “Step into Journalism’’ was written by Mr Idahosa Asowata, a Senior Editor with the agency.
The minister said that the advent of the social media had resulted in the spread of false information circulating in the media.
“Efforts by journalists to write books to re-position the profession should be encouraged in order to counter the current challenges posed by the social media in this era of information processing and dissemination.
“Today we have all sources of information that are hardly reliable because of the way the information is processed and disseminated.
“I believe that traditional media, in spite of this challenge, should strive to ensure that any information is verified, reliable, cross-checked and presented to avoid instances of false news processed as correct information,” he said.
The minister commended the author for writing a book that would help to re-position the profession and uphold its tenets.
“I believe the book will help journalists and aspiring journalists to strive to ensure that the basic objectives of Journalism are upheld,” Mohammed said.
The chairman of the book launch, the Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria, Mr Osita Okechukwu, also advised practitioners to maintain the integrity of the profession.
Mr Chukwudi Ekezie, a Managing Editor with newsmen, while reviewing the book, said that the 117-page book was a practical guide for young reporters, who aimed to achieve higher goals in Journalism, especially in the newspaper industry.
Ekezie noted that what was lacking in some graduates was practical exposure to what they had studied in the school which resulted in a gap between theory and practice.
“It is the gap the author seeks to close in this book; the author’s frustration is shared by many newsroom managers in handling young reporters.
“The author avoided classical models and adopted practical approach bearing in mind that what is lacking in college graduate is not a theoretical concept but practical application of knowledge,” he said.
Ekezie said that the book also introduced the reporter to guides on basic news writing, advanced writing, use of English, coverage on international writing, professional conduct and sources and places for news information.
The author, in his address, said that he wrote the book because of the deficiency he discovered in the course of supervising young reporters from Nigerian tertiary institutions.
He said they lacked the basic knowledge, concepts and practical approach to news gathering and writing skills, adding that those mostly affected were fresh graduates.
The author suggested that anyone who wished to go into news writing should be counselled to study Journalism rather than the omnibus course of mass communication.
NAN reports that the author also launched another book entitled “Village Decree”.
An award for Pacesetter life achievement was given to Rep. Patrick Aisowieren, the Chief Host of the occasion.
Malam Yusuf Zango, Editor-in-Chief of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) and many senior staff of the agency were among dignitaries present at the occasion.