12th October, 2011
Mr. Ben Egbuna, a former Director-General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), has said that journalists in the country deserve special salary scale, due to the hazardous nature of the profession.
Egbuna made the statement on Tuesday while speaking with reporters at Iwo in Ogun, after delivering a lecture at the second annual seminar of the Bowen University Chapter of the National Association of Mass Communication Students (NAMACOS).
He said the peculiar nature of the job of media workers required special treatment in remuneration, noting that journalists worked round the clock.
Ebuna noted that media workers were not on the same salary scale with other civil servants in the past.
He said it was the Udoji Salary Review Commission “that levelled everybody without taking into consideration the peculiar nature of media workers”.
The former FRCN chief appealed to government and media organisations to yield to the yearning of journalists and review their salary, noting that it would motivate them to work harder.
He charged journalists not to be discouraged but to be more committed to their jobs.
Egbuna said that journalists should continue “to learn and always update their knowledge on issues as this will make them to compete favourable with their counterparts across the world”.
Speaking on “Pursuing Excellence in Journalism,” Egbuna said the practice of journalism had been developed to the level of digitalisation “which now makes the job easier unlike in the past.
“The profession, however, is stressful and challenging but at the end you will be fulfilled. “
He lamented that the kind of English spoken by some broadcasters on radio and television stations was not encouraging, charging journalists to always update their knowledge and acquire better knowledge.
Another lecturer, Mr Mike Smith, the Lagos Bureau Chief of AFP, the French News Agency, urged students to be bilingual, saying that it would assist them in achieving higher goals in the profession.
Smith commended Nigerian journalists for their excellent performance, noting that journalists in the country were working in spite of some serious challenges facing them.
He charged them to use their positions as mouthpiece of the public to be agents of change in the country and expose corruption and other social vices.
In his welcome address, Prof. Ademola Adegbite, the Head of Department of Mass Communication of the university, said that the seminar was to enable the students to acquaint themselves with various aspect of journalism.