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‘Journalism in Crisis All Over the World’ — Prof Pate

A renowned professor of Mass Communication and Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Kashere, Umaru Pate has said journalism profession is in crisis all over the world.

Pate stated this in Bauchi during a three-day training for journalists on investigative reporting.

The training was organised by the Bauchi-based online media outlet, Hama Media under its Collaborative Media Project funded by MacArthur foundation.

He said the media no longer having relevance and trust of the audience as it used to.

The professor said the media is battling “crisis of credibility, crisis of trust.”

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“Many people no longer believe in journalism as it used to be,” he decried. “People don’t bother so much about news now,  and that’s why we are talking about the crisis of relevance.  Ask yourself, of what relevance is news to you?”

Pate said people are becoming more botherless to news items. “So, if you do research, for example, in Bauchi town, ask them, how central is news to their lives? Do they even believe what they hear in the media any longer? Is there trust in what they hear or what they read or what they see on our TV stations?” 

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Pate added that it’s one of the reasons media houses globally changing into online rather than the traditional way of providing news contents. 

He cited an example with The Financial Times of London, saying it stopped printing hard copies. “New York Times, prints less than 20% now.  Most of these big global newspapers are increasingly decreasing hard copies —- they are all going online,” he explained.

According to Pate, people do not have as much time for news content as they used to. “People don’t have time to sit down and read a full page of the newspaper or to sit down and listen to your news for about 20 or 30 minutes. Even online, if you write long, people will not read. So, even the news format is changing.”

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He advised that due to competition in the news provision, journalists should give audience content relevant to their lives.  

Pate maintained that media organisations are also experiencing financial crisi. He, however, proffered some solutions.

“For you to survive,  it means you must  have an engagement and a linkage with your audience who will give you the rating that will attract advertisers,” he advised.

“That is why in the universities now we are introducing courses in economics,  media economics and management.  It’s not enough to train you as a good investigative reporter, it must also train you how to make money for your media organization to survive.”

Attended by investigative reporters and student journalists, the training was facilitated by Haruna Mohammed, the Publisher of WikkiTimes, publisher of Solacebase, Abdullateef Jos and the African Editor Centre for Collaborative Investigative Journalism (CCIJ), Ajibola Amzat.

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