The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, has called on journalists to carve a niche for themselves by giving attention to issues in the grassroots in their reportage.
He particularly challenged members of Indigenous Correspondents’ Chapel (ICC) of the Nigeria Union Journalists (NUJ) in the state to, as local reporters, mirror the rural communities to the government and public and vice versa.
Ifeajika made the call when he received the new Executive Committee members of ICC who visited him at his office at Government House, Asaba.
He urged them to redirect their reportorial skills and energy to the coverage of activities and events within local milieu, adding that as their name implies, they should be grassroots-based and oriented.
According to him, there is so much to be done in the remote areas, and those that are indigenous should always be local and be there with the local people.
The CPS maintained that a situation where those that were indigenous, going by their nomenclature, always report in the cities, did not appropriately give them the identity that corresponded with their name.
“The Indigenous Correspondents, like the name implies, is a grassroots-focused group. I tell journalists that it is not enough for everybody to be in the cities and report what happens in the cities.
“There is so much to be done in the mundane areas. Those that are indigenous should always be local and be there with the people. But I see a situation where even those that are indigenous always report in the cities.
“And, I want to appeal that as indigenous correspondents, you should truly to be indigenous and grassroots people; go and find out what is happening in the rural areas instead of competing with major media outlets in the cities.
“We should take time to look at what happens to our people in the rural areas and you will be surprised that you cannot quantify the mileage you will get in reporting if you do so,” he said.
Ifeajika noted that government was doing so much in the rural areas which should be reported, stressing that reporting areas where government had not been able to reach, will always help government to do what it ought to do.
While congratulating executive members of ICC on their successful election, Ifeajika urged them and other media practitioners in the state to sustain their partnership with the government by always reporting the policies and programmes of the state government.
He also charged journalists in the state to take their practice to a top-notch by reporting constructively and objectively, adding that as journalists, they should be abreast with issues in the society and dress decently so as to earn the people’s respect.
Earlier in his speech, the Chairman of the chapel, Comrade Kenneth Orusi, had told the CPS that they were in his office on a courtesy visit and to formally introduce the new executive committee members of ICC to him.
Orusi ĺlauded the CPS for the great role that he has been playing since he assumed duties as the spokesman of the governor, pointing out that they were very glad that he had carried them along in the scheme of things.
While commending Ifeajika for graciously making it possible for the Indigenous Correspondents Chapel to benefit from the stipends paid to NUJ Chapels in the state, he however, appealed for an upward review of the stipends paid to his members.