Business Journal Publisher Seeks N100bn Bailout for Media Industry

Prince Cookey, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Business Journal magazine has tasked the federal government to float N100 billion bailout fund for the media industry to support operators in the industry and safeguard jobs of journalists and other professionals working in media houses.
Cookey said at the 5th Anniversary Lecture/Awards of the magazine in Lagos that the media industry remains a critical component of the Nigerian society, especially in a democratic dispensation.
“It is important to note that before, during and after independence, and even now, the media has continued to play crucial roles in sustaining the Nigerian dream. If other sectors deserve bailout, the media industry deserves it even more. What is good for other sectors must also be desirable for the media industry.”
He traced the current state of the industry to the global financial meltdown which he said, took the lives of many media organizations in Nigeria while the declining fortunes of the economy has made it difficult for many Nigerians to patronize the products of media houses and especially generate advert patronage from corporate firms.
Cookey said rather than complain endlessly about negative coverage in the western media, that we must tell our own story through own media. He lamented however that “our own media cannot tell our own story from the grave or hospital bed. The media industry in Nigeria is sick and in dire need of medical attention in form of financial support. Accordingly, we are asking the Federal Government of Nigeria to support the media industry with N100 billion Bailout Fund to sustain operators in the industry and save the job of journalists and other professionals working in media houses.”
According to Cookey, “the advent of the global financial meltdown took the lives of many media organizations in Nigeria,” the publisher said at the event.” And today, even those that survived the economic tsunami are still limping and struggling to meet obligations to their employees as at when due. We cannot continue to pretend that all is well with the industry—all is not well. We need help urgently.”
The Business Journal publisher also tasked media owners in the country to work together as one body to initiate measures to raise awareness on the importance of reading newspapers and magazines regularly and listening to news everyday. He said the federal government can also assist the industry by reworking the economy to enable more Nigerians have the capacity to buy newspapers and corporate firms to place more advertisements.
Meanwhile, Mallam Isa Yuguda, Executive Governor of Bauchi State has commended the Board and management of Business Journal on the 5th Anniversary/Awards of the magazine, saying the occasion provides an opportunity for sharing views and experiences towards consolidating its achievements and galvanizing it to further contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.
“Business Journal has since inception stood out as a magazine whose main concern is the economic development of the country. The theme of the magazine’s 5th anniversary which is,‘Is Nigeria Growing Forward or Developing Backward?’ Is not only thought provoking but underscores its concern and desire for the economic and socio-political development of Nigeria,” the governor said.
Yuguda who was represented by Mr. Abdon Gin, the Head of Service of Bauchi State, said the theme is not only timely but also relevant to the current reality of the Nigerian situation from which angle one looks at it.
“One can ask the question: with all its natural endowments, can Nigeria be said to have developed economically or how has Nigeria fared politically since independence over 50 years ago, especially since the return to democratic rule 14 years ago.”
Dr. Eugene Juwah, Executive Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), commended Business Journal for hosting the event which he said is an opportunity to reflect on our performance as a nation.

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