May 09, 2022
Prof. Oni Tasks the Media on Social Responsibility
T he 4th College Seminar of the College of Humanities, Management and Social Sciences was delivered by Professor Babatunde Olagoke Oni, Head, Department of Mass Communication, on the topic: MASS MEDIA AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY THEORY: MATTERS ARISING. He explored the actions of the media in the society in relation to their adherence to the tenets of the social responsibility theory. Professor Babatunde Oni explained that the media enjoy press freedom, which is the right to express opinions without censorship by the government.
However, the media must also play according to the rules and ethics of the profession. Some of the codes of ethics include: Editorial independence, Decency, Nondiscrimination, Accuracy and fairness, Objectivity, truthfulness, Respect for privacy, Privilege/nondisclosure.
Social responsibility media theory has the following conclusions:
• It assumes that people are truly free when the media inform them properly. Since free expression is a moral right, media operators are under obligation to make sure that all significant viewpoints of the citizenry are represented by the press.
• Any mass medium that is worth its name should contribute to positive development of society. Professor Oni called the media’s attention to the neglect of the rural communities by the media. He explained that one of the problems of media irresponsibility lies in neglecting the needs of the rural community in favour of the urban population, which is more attractive to the media owner due to its higher commercial value as a product to prospective advertisers.
He concluded by suggesting that there should be adequate media attention to rural communities in order to enhance rural people’s understanding of government policies and programmes. There is need for a re-orientation in community reporting. Media owners, journalists and editors have to adopt the development journalism approach to empower the rural folks. Finally, there must be a deliberate move by media establishments to focus on rural communities’ needs and better appreciate cultural diversity and localism as tools of nation-building, development and democratization.
The seminar was Chaired by the Dean of the College, Professor Oladele John Akinyomi. It was an enlightening presentation and was well-attended by the College staff.