By Grace Alegba
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) says it will soon embark on a nationwide audit of journalists in order to rid itself of quacks.
The President of NUJ, Mr Waheed Odusile, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos that impostors interested in joining the profession should enrol in a school of journalism.
“Quackery is something that is of major concern to us in NUJ and one of the ways we want to fight it is to have a proper register of journalists in Nigeria.
“We’ll build a data bank of journalists; we give them a proper identity card, such that when their identity is being called to question, we can use that card to verify whether actually they are journalists or not because, most of these people parading themselves as journalists and truly they are quacks.
“They do not have valid identity cards; we believe if we start with that we would have been able to rid the union of about half of these quacks.
“And some of those quacks really want to practice as journalists but they do not know how to go about it.
“So we’ll make it possible for them, anybody that want to be journalist, we welcome them but they should come and train first as journalists.
“And that is where we want to upgrade our International Institute of Journalism in Abuja to be like a post-graduate school for training of journalists in Nigeria, such that that when you come there you know you are being trained as a journalist.
“The same way lawyers go to law school, the same way we want people to either go to Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) in Lagos or IIJ in Abuja.
“By the time we upgrade the training this issue of quackery would have been reduced to the barest minimum.’’