Stop patronising untrained bloggers above professional journalists, don tells Abia govt
By Steve Oko
Associate professor of Mass Communication, Dr Uwoma Uche, has told Abia State Government to stop patronising and promoting untrained on-line news bloggers above professional journalists in the conventional media.
The Head, Department of Mass Communication, Abia Polytechnic Aba, stated this Wednesday while delivering a public lecture on the “Challenges of Social Media in the Practice of Journalism in Nigeria” at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ Press Centre Umuahia.
The public lecture was part of the activities marking this year’s Press Week of the Correspondents Chapel, Abia NUJ.
He observed that most persons who masquerade as bloggers lack the preliquisite training to operate as journalists, hence, they throw ethics and professionalism to the winds.
The don also noted with disgust that many of them could hardly express themselves in correct grammar while the content of their news is full of gutter languages, insults and hate speeches.
“Government must stop over glorification of house boys in social media over professionals; it is an aberration”, he cautioned.
” They have now formed a cartel around government, and politicians have accepted them.
“The social media has just become an instrument of witch hunting of perceived enemies”, he said, adding that “it has no censorship and gate-keeping”, hence all manner of unprofessional conducts are perpetrated.
He further lamented that most of the “so called bloggers are faceless and without any traceable address”, hence they can perpetrate any crime in the social media.
Dr. Uche therefore, called on government “to completely disband the cartel who have taken over the social media space parading as journalists.”
Describing such unprofessionals as national security threats, Uwoma called for an urgent disciplinary measure against the perpetrators.
“Involvement of untrained persons and unprofessionals to run the media as is the case in the social media is a national security threat”, he said.
He further identified other ills of the social media to include : erosion of our cultural values, poor academic performance of youths, distraction of youths, among others.
The university don insisted that news must be developed according to ethical standards before publishing.
He, however challenged professional journalists to upgrade their knowledge in the trendy social media technology to avoid challanters running them out of business.
Dr. Uche also tasked the leadership of NUJ to rise to the challenges of the threat posed by quacks in social media by evoking the extant laws to ensure they are checkmated.
Arguing that other professionals like lawyers and doctors don’t allow untrained persons to infiltrate their ranks, the university don called on the relevant regulatory bodies to wade in.
He blamed the rising incidents of suicide among youths on the adverse effects of social media.
According to Dr. Uwoma most youths committing suicide these days do so after invasion of their privacy by social media or when their dirty secrets are exposed by rascals masquerading as social media bloggers.
He decried the rascality of social media practitioners who use the platform to malign and maliciously damage people’s character.
Dr. Uche counselled bloggers to acquire the requisite training that would help them practice effectively as journalists instead of denting the image of the noble profession through unethical conducts.
The former Aide to Gov. Orji Uzor Kalu called on government to roll out displinary measures to checkmate the excesses of rascals abusing social media.
He applauded the current move by the federal government to clamp down on illegal on-line media practitioners who hide under the cloak of bloggers to terrorise people.