NUJ Awards: Matters Arising, By Lekan Otufodunrin

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The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ)  will on Wednesday, May 5 mark the World Press Freedom Day,   with a lecture and award ceremony in Abuja. I commend the programme and the award for journalists,, but I don’t understand the awards for friends of the media,  made up of politicians and business men.
 Must we always patronise them with awards?
Can’t we  run our unions, associations and groups without government support and giving questionable awards to politicians?
 How well did we spend and utilized previous donations?
Why should government officials take us seriously when we issue statements calling them to order when they know we depend on them to run our organizations.
Why should NUJ, Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE)  meetings and programmes be largely bankrolled by state governments who we are supposed to hold accountable?
Must we hold major programmes if we cannot afford the pay the bills and have to resort to seeking support from many of those we should not or give awards for our integrity sake ?
How are media NGOs able to attract local and international support without the the kind of large membership base media groups have?
There are more honourable ways of fundraising than the “cash and carry” awards we give to many who don’t deserve them.
 We can’t afford to keep running our professional groups in the unethical ways we have been doing for decades.
As long as we continue in this path, journalists will never be respected , we will only be tolerated.

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