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Journalism practice in Nigeria is not driven by gifts –Akunyili

Akunyili said this on Friday in Makurdi while chairing a technical session during the just concluded National Council on Information and Communications meeting. She expressed…

Akunyili said this on Friday in Makurdi while chairing a technical session during the just concluded National Council on Information and Communications meeting.

She expressed dissatisfaction over allegations about journalists receiving “brown envelopes’’ to discharge their duties.

She said: “I have had eight years of public life and there was no day a journalist said I must give money for reports to be published.’’ She observed that journalism practice in Nigeria had remained vibrant over time and applauded the commitment and sacrifice associated with the profession.

The minister said: “If journalists received money, then it is because they were given and it is common in every area of the country that people give to appreciate work done.

“It is like giving tips in restaurants to waiters and stewards in hotels. I don’t feel comfortable with people calling Nigerian journalists “brown envelope’’ journalists because no media person has ever insisted on being given money to do his work.’’

According to her, all over the world, journalists are appreciated in various ways and so it is not right to castigate Nigerian journalists for receiving gifts.

However, the minister, observed that that in every profession, the bad behaviour of some people tended to destroy the image of the rest. (NAN)