Any Employer Who Doesn’t Pay Journalists Is Extremely Wicked, Says Okunna – Independent Newspaper Nigeria

AWKA – First female professor of Mass Communication in sub-saharan Africa and former Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Professor Chinyere Stella Okunna has said that any employer who doesn’t pay journalists is wicked considering the ordeals they experience in the course of their duties. 

Okunna who stated this while engaging journalists at ASUU complex shortly after the Jubilee celebration of the Department of Mass Communication Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka at the weekend, opined that journalists in Nigeria deserved better working conditions because of the nature of what they do especially in keeping the citizenry abreast of the goings-on in the government circles. 

She said journalism  was one  of the most dangerous jobs in the world and that journalists were duty-bound to inform the people even from the war front and other disasterous situations. 

Okunna who is currently the Director Unizik FM Radio noted with discontentment that  it was indeed really sad that most publishers and employers don’t pay journalists after having risked their lives doing their jobs. She said such employer  is a very wicked person irrespective of whether the person is the government, an individual or a private employer, the person is extremely wicked. 

According to the erudite professor, journalists faced so many dangers in discharging their duties; she said some of them are killed, some are maimed , some are kidnapped while some are harassed in some many ways yet at the end of the month the journalist doesn’t get paid; that such would amount to outright display of extreme wickedness as well as man’s inhumanity to man. 

Okunna was of the opinion that they have made countless passionate appeals to employers to pay journalists yet there are employers who have blatantly paid deaf ears to their appeals and still subjected journalists to all manner of servitudes in the guise of employment.  

She also observed that many journalists have been silenced due to hardships especially those in the government employ but she however admonished those she described as fearful journalists to honourably quit the profession if their cowardice have taken a greater toll on them. 

In spite of the harsh economic realities and socio-political limitations confronting journalists in the country, the development communication expert however expressed great optimism that the Nigeria Union of Journalists, the Nigerian Guild of Editors and other unions should join forces to talk employers and publishers into seeing the dire need to remunerate journalists very well because they are more like endangered species because their lives are always at stake. 




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