Funke Egbemode, President, Nigerian Guild of Editors, has said that poverty should not be an excuse for journalists to engage in shoddy deals with politicians.
Egbemode stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday on the line of the 14th All Nigeria Editors Conference in Asaba, Delta.
She said that the guild condemned in entirety corruption in the journalism profession, adding that corrupt journalist would not go far in the profession.
Egbemode noted that it remained the duty of journalists to put the politicians on check, rather than hobnobbing with them with a view to do shoddy jobs.
She said: “Whatever is bad is bad, you can’t say because you are poorly paid and you turn to prostitution, corruption must be tamed.
“You can’t go far being a corrupt journalist and for the political journalists, it would even be worse.”
She noted that it was the job of everyone, particularly during the electioneering periods to do what was right.
She said: “It is our job to put the politicians, all stakeholders on check, especially during the elections because if we leave them, to their narrow minded bidding, they would forget to do what the constitution say.
“Politicians are like unbelievers, they only read the sections of the scripture in the two Holy Books, that they think is right for them.
“Like the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, said while speaking at the conference, protecting journalism profession is the responsibility of all of us, particularly the gate keepers.
“I implore all colleagues who are principal editors that we need to do anything within the professional bounds and boundaries to protect journalism.”
On the impact of technology and the social media, she said that all conventional media outfit must brace up with the challenge, though they might not stop other people from doing their business.
Egbemode said: “But as conventional media, we are standing on a firmer ground and we have structures, we should deploy them to do a better job with technology.
“On the 2019 general elections, we are doing our best by holding this conference, we do this every year and we will continue to engage editors to remind ourselves of our duties.”