March 8, 2021

Covid19: Save the Media from Collapse, Guild of Editors beg FG

The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), have pleaded with the Federal Government of Nigeria to intervene and save the Nigeria media from total collapse.

In a communiqué signed by its President, Mustapha Isah and the General Secretary, Mrs. Mary Atolagbe at the end of the Standing Committee of the Guild held via Zoom at Editors House in Lagos, the Guild acknowledged the dire state of the media, now made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and appealed for urgent intervention by the Federal government to save the media.

The Guild specifically recommends the injection of funds by the federal government, not only to help keep media jobs but, also to ensure continued existence and operations of the various media houses, be they Print, Electronic or New Media.

They noted that using public funds to finance private sector operations to save them from bankruptcy and total eclipse is not new and has been adopted in other jurisdictions.

They cited an instance where the United States government, once used public funds to save the U.S. automobile industry, banking and other ailing sectors from insolvency during the financial crisis of 2008 and currently with the $2 trillion bailout for companies, amid the COVID-19 scourge.

The Guild noted that since the media services are regarded as “essential services” they deserve to be treated like other essential services that play key roles on the front line of the fight against COVID-19.

The body of Editors declared that government intervention at this point is imperative, to ensure that the media continues to discharge its constitutional duty, stressing that survival of the media is the survival of democracy.

This appeal is supporting the position of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) and the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), both of which have made strong petitions to the Federal Government of Nigeria for financial intervention.

The Guild also observed that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the poor state of infrastructure in the nation’s health sector and urged the government at all levels, to apply the lessons learnt from the pandemic to fix the nation’s healthcare sector.