The Nigerian Press Council (NPC) has asked the house of representatives to enact laws to empower the council licence journalists.
Francis Nwosu, executive secretary of NPC, made the demand on Wednesday when he appeared before the house of representatives committee on information, national orientation, ethics and values.
Nwosu said this will also enable the council to generate revenue for the federal government and curb unprofessionalism in the industry.
“We appreciate the effort of this committee to help have a good footing in the Nigerian media space. As you can understand, there is no way we can earn any revenue except we have an act to regulate the media industry,” he said.
“Aside from the rooting implementation of credible media space in Nigeria to help the government to check fake news and disinformation in the society, we are also trying for our players to understand the need to draw a line between journalism practice and journalism business.
He said newspapers need to register as corporate organisations and pay royalties to enable the NPC make money.
“Journalists [need] to register with the council, have a licence to operate. That way, we can have some funds to the coffers of the council,” he said.
“These are the ideas we are thinking can help instead of depending entirely on the federal government for revenue. We can generate some amount every year from the registration of journalists and the registration of media houses.
“By this way also, we are also talking about supervising journalism training institutions and ensure that the right things are done in the institutions of learning so that we have well-trained journalists with good professional skills to do the right job for the best interest of the nation.”
Olusegun Odebunmi, chairman of the committee, said it is important for the journalism practice to be monitored.
“As regards the pure regulation of the journalists, no doubt about it,” he said.
Odebunmi said the committee is working on such regulation, adding that this will identify the players in the industry.