Experts who gathered at the public presentation of Business Journal Newspaper over the weekend in Lagos have identified the important role of the media in national development, urging media practitioners to adopt Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance their capacity for sustainable growth and profitability.
The Keynote Speaker, the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, in delivering the theme of the event, “The Media in National Development: Successes, Challenges & Prospects” highlighted the importance of the media and its contributions to national development.
Danbatta said: “The media no doubt has been the bastion of entrenching good governance and promoting development in the country. The media in Nigeria has principally played the protagonist role to midwife the path of the liberalisation of the telecom sector in Nigeria.
“We cannot, for instance, forget the contribution of the Nigerian media which includes the dedicated information and communication and technology pages in our national dailies and numerous related programmes of the electronic media which comprises the radio and television. The media have indeed paid their dues in initiating government policies in support of the growth of the sector.”
Danbatta who was represented at the event by Mrs. Nnenna Ukoha, Head, SIM Registration Project at the NCC, noted that “the objective of development communication entails the media to carry out development tasks within the ambit of the society as well as advocating the essence of why the society should develop.”
The media, he said, “will continue to remain a veritable channel for the wide range of development campaigns which the NCC has effectively used. The media has also facilitated the achievement of government developmental goals and kept the public abreast of the state of development in the society.
The practitioners, therefore, must maintain ethics, standard, integrity, and ensure that professionalism and development guide editorial policy and conduct. The media has always played a double-edged role which will either enhance or derail national development.”
Danbatta enjoined the Nigerian media “to continue to carry out positive development tasks in line with national established policies and national ethics which are discipline, integrity, dignity of labour, social justice, religious tolerance, self-reliance and patriotism as stipulated in Sections 23 and 24 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
“The media should be socially responsible in carrying out developmental tasks in a manner that fosters national development and such developmental goals should be based on a bottom-top approach, aimed at improving quality of all aspect of peoples’ lives ranging from economic, political, socio-culture and even technological strength.”
In carrying out national development initiatives, the NCC boss charged that “the media shall at all times be free to uphold fundamental objectives contained in the Constitution by holding the government responsible and accountable to the people.”
Speaking on the topic “AI In Journalism: Where Is The Media Headed & What Becomes of Journalists?, Tim Akano, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, New Horizons Limited, emphasised the need for media practitioners to take advantage of the opportunities offered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) to remain relevant.
He also called for the immediate establishment of www.Journalism AI.ng with a view to making the benefits of AI more accessible and to counter inequalities in the global news media.
Artificial intelligence (AI), according to him, is the simulation or hacking of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems, noting that as of 2020, over 40 percent of the top 70 news organisations worldwide used AI in the media.
Akano said: “Artificial Intelligence is the biggest disruptor of the Creation, Production, Distribution, Consumption, and Archiving of news Products and Services.