Nigerian Journalism: A Craft or A Profession?
Sorry if this text is going to be bit too long, just want to be sure if we (Nigerians students) are not so bad in English composition.
In the early years of Nigeria's infancy, journalism may have been regarded as a craft as most drop-outs and 'academically challenged' people tended to diverge into journalism without any formal training and education, leading to imperfection and ineffectiveness in the way journalism was relayed.This was a trait gotten from the colonial master as journalism was not given much notice then, so it was more like a 'mini-course' for graduates in other fields, an on-the-job programme.
However, as time drifted into the era of effective communication, standard journalism -with high level of intellectual literacy and skills- seemed necessary, as there would be the need to relay personal ideas, public opinions and interests on government's policies, serving as a messenger for both the governed and the government. And over the years, Nigeria has managed to produce graduates of journalism, which is now more reputable and lucrative than it has been many years back. Indeed lucrative journalism has been as the most paid journalist in the world earns a million dollar per annum (for a job well done), a woman, Barbara Waltets, working for ABC Network in USA. Reputable journalists have sprung up around the world Ed Rabel, Erick Savareld, Bob Schieffet, Dan Rather, Roger Mudd and many others.
The people mentioned above can be referred to as professionals in their various countries, which now brings up the issue of whether journalism in Nigeria is a craft or a profession. After several studies and analyses, Prof. Ralph A. Akinfeleye would rather prefer calling Nigerian journalism a sub-profession or a semi-profession to a standard profession, that was after observing and comparing the criteria of a standard profession -from the book: The Professions In America- with what Nigerian journalist are really practicing.
Not that I don't accept the break-down analysis and conclusion of Prof Ralph but I would like to use my own term or version by coining both words which is crafto-profession. The reason being that Nigerian journalists find it 'too' hard to adhere to the rules and principles of professionalism (and why wouldn't they? They violate national obligations, rules and laws easily; then breaking a concept rules is not a big deal). They are used to the old ways of freedom to do anything at anytime, as craftsmen do, consequently they break the laws (which are not usually backed up by legal process) binding members of NUJ as easy as eggshell. Craftsmen are not bound by any rules binding his job but a professional has conducts, values, ethics binding his work to avoid misconduct, but where these are obviously not recognised then it is apparent we are not 'actually' practicing professional journalism, though it may seem to be a profession some areas, and that's the reason I had to form a perfect term of what Nigerian journalist are really practicing. A crafto-profession.
The topic was actually given to us in class, and I need you to review it before it is submitted. Tanks
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