The umbrella media body, the Nigeria Press Organisation (NPO), has banned Beat associations by journalists.
NPO is made up of the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE).
The NPO, in a statement on its behalf yesterday by Mr. Feyi Smith, the executive secretary of the NPAN, said it “viewed with concern, the continued proliferation of Beat associations across the industry”.
The statement added: “This development constitutes a drawback on the laudable objective of media houses deploying reporters to such outlets, the essence of which is to enhance efficient and independent gathering of news.
“The essence of reporters in those beats, is to strengthen the operations of the media in its quest to deepen journalism and raise an army of a well-informed and enlightened citizenry and actualise its constitutional responsibility of holding the government accountable to the people at all times, through well informed news and commentaries.
“Nowhere in their mandate, are they expected to form any association outside their recognised professional body, the Nigeria Union of Journalists.
“The proliferation of Beat associations, is not only corrosive of the esteemed journalism profession but also capable of lowering ethical and moral standards as well as the quality of reportage, if unchecked. They are now to cease and desist from engaging journalists in such untoward conduct.”