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Journalists have been urged to use their craft to achieve a better society. This came to the fore recently when the Media Career Development Network in partnership with the US Consulate screened the documentary “Joseph Pulitzer, Voice of the People” to a cross section of journalists and mediapreneurs as part of series of activities to mark World Press Freedom Day.
Welcoming the audience, MD, Media Career Development Network, Lekan Otufodunrin noted that a free press is important for journalists to thrive.
Held at American Corner, Ikeja, the documentary chronicles the life and times of renowned Hungarian- American media personality and politician , Joseph Pulitzer His place in the development of the American press cannot be over-emphasized.
The audience had an expose of Pulitzer’s knack for investigative journalism, working for news media including The Washington Post before publishing St. Louis Post Dispatch and New York World. He believed newspapers ought to be straight to the pound in churning out information.
Pulitzer helped convince Americans that the day’s not complete without the newspapers and also investigate wrongdoings He understood that newspapers were crucial in the new world to help foster democracy Many respondents described Pulitzer as a determined newspaper man who stamped his presence in the publishing business. The documentary also highlighted the dangers journalists all over the world go through in pursuit of their jobs, some being muzzled or killed
Thereafter, there was a panel discussion with panelists including Travel Journalist Pelu Awofeso, Ugonma Cookey from the Voice of Nigeria, Kunle Akinrande, Head, Weekend Crime Desk, The Nation, among others who shared their viewsv on the man Pulitzer . Cookey noted that Pulitzer was passionate about his job as a journalist, he was intetested in fighting corruption “We need to learn independence as Journalists, we shouldn’t combine journalism with politics, she said.
On his part, Awofeso said Pulitzer was very fascinating., “He paid attention to the everyday people. Information is key and we must give the people what they want. Pulitzer couldnt be bribed, how many of our publishers and journalists can do same?” he asked rhetorically.
For Akinrinade, Pulitzer crusaded for a better society. He used his enterprise to better the lot of people. “
Other events lined up to mark the World Press Freedom Day this month include further panel discussions in Lagos and Port-Harcourt.