Journalism Critical To National Development – Dalung
…Challenges the sporting press to raise the bar
By Taofeek LAWAL, Abuja
The immediate past Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, has lauded the media for the critical role it is playing in shaping the destiny of Nigeria through its reportage. Dalung stated this at a one-day journalism workshop jointly sponsored by the FCT Football Association and foremost online sports newspaper, Basic Sports in Nigeria (BSN) with the theme: ‘Exploring Efficacy in Journalism’.
The former minister who delivered the keynote address at the event said that the democracy which Nigeria is enjoying today would not have been possible if not for the resilience and doggedness of the Nigerian media. Dalung, however, lauded the organizers of the workshop saying training and retraining of media practitioners is very important. The former minister added that the components of journalism need to be properly managed to enable Nigeria realized its potential in the comity of nations. He called on the sporting media to play their role very well so that sports in Nigeria can get to its rightful place. He said, “The role of sports in developing a country is quite fundamental. If we don’t get sports journalism right definitely we cannot get sports development right because sports journalism determines the pace which sports development goes. I do know that at a time there was a friction between the leadership of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and that was a bad omen for sports development in Nigeria. Sports journalists are supposed to be the watchdog of sports in Nigeria and if today sports is going down in, the first suspect we supposed to challenge are the sports journalists. It thus mean that they have allowed the sports administrators to do things whimsically that are not in the interest of the nation.”
Dalung compared the role of the sporting media to that of the traditional rulers because “you are the the custodian of the conscience of the sports administrators and if you prick our conscience and direct us well, we will deliver but when you go to sleep, then you can imagine what will happen to sports development, national unity and our cohesion as a nation.”
The resource persons at the event called on upcoming and budding and even the established journalists to make credibility their watchword by verifying the stories they push to the public. The participants were also taught the relevance of research, getting facts and figures and to embrace the spirit of hard work, commitment and dedication. The participants were advised to build a professional reputation among their colleagues and administrators and to leverage on contacts and friendship which are the hallmarks of successful journalists. The resource persons said constant training of journalists is very important adding that mentoring of budding and upcoming journalists by the established ones cannot be over-emphasized.
The resource persons at the workshop are Mr Femi Johnson, General Manager, NTA Sports who spoke on the topic, ‘Challenges Facing Beginners and what to do to be a successful journalist’, the head of sport Silverbird TV/Rhythm Radio, Mr Victor Iroele lectured the participants on ‘How to become a radio broadcaster’. Two media aides to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, Messrs John Joshua Akanji and Kola Daniel, talked on the topics ‘What You Need To Become A Sports Journalist’ and ‘Becoming Effective New Media Journalist’ respectively. Ronke Bello, a media aide to the FCT Minister of State, spoke on the Dos and Don’ts in Journalism. The highlights of the workshop was presentation of certificates to the participants.