May 09, 2024

Prof. Oni Tasks the Media on Social Responsibility

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.