The Print Media Publishers Guild of Nigeria (PMPGN) has sent an SOS signal to the federal government to extend its financial interventions to the print media organisations to save them from total collapse due to the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on their revenues.
In a statement issued in Abuja by the vice-president of the PMPGN, Mr. Jimmy Enyeh, it enumerated the effect of COVID -19 on the print media and also explained why such fund was needed for the print media.
He said, “The federal government’s financial intervention for the print media is sacrosanct at this time that COVID-19 is ravaging the world’s economy, it’s very paramount to note that the media is an essential service that has played a pivotal role in the fight against COVID-19 and this is evident in the number of journalists who have tested positive to the deadly virus while discharging their duties.
“So, you will agree with me that government’s intervention at this time is imperative to ensure that the print media organizations continue to discharge its duties.”
Enyeh continued, “The drop in daily print runs is becoming more common in Nigeria on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, sales have also dropped drastically, thereby affecting the revenue of print media organizations.”
Enyeh who is also the publisher of National WAVES Newspaper/Magazine said the print media organisations would have to protect jobs and continue to abide by its constitutional role of ensuring proper dissemination of news to its various readers.
He argued that government would not be doing anything out of place or illegal by providing public funds to finance private sector operations in order to save them from bankruptcy and collapse. Enyeh added that the idea was not new, as it had been adopted in some advanced countries. He, however, commended the Buhari administration for recently writing off 60 per cent of the debt owed government by the broadcasting stations.