Law & Policy

The War Against Bloggers Continue, Nigerian Union of Journalists Promise Action “in Due Course” Against “Menacing Bloggers”

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That Nigerian journalists, celebrities or whomever they may be want to wage war against bloggers is really stupid. Beside the fact that some of the really strong bloggers don’t even reside in the country, and reside in countries that provide an absolute right to protect their freedom of expression, the alleged threat of actions against bloggers are laughable at best.

Should bloggers be regulated, I believe so. The blogging industry here has undergone massive change and appropriate federal governing body has stepped in to protect the public. For example, disclaimers should be made with respect to sponsored posts or any paid posts, something a lot of Nigerian bloggers and so called journalists and newspapers actually do not do, including the leading ones.

Further, copyright laws are to be followed and respected i.e. no infringement. Nigerian blogs, majority of them, are notorious for ripping the pictures off another person’s websites AND watermarking it with their logos, or website urls et. al indicating they, instead of the original owner, are the authors of the pictures.

The work belongs to the photographer or the site it initially originated from, if it can be ascertained, both under US and Nigeria copyright laws, and the laws of many other countries. So, watermarking a photo you do not own is not only stealing from the photographer and the site you took the picture from, it is also quite intentional and could carry punitive damages.

There are other things many Nigerian blogs do not get right, per se, however when it comes to the content of speech and expression especially from political bloggers, music bloggers etc., I think our bloggers have held their own quite well, even better, many times, than the so called journalists.

Can bloggers be journalists, absolutely. Working as a journalist for an investigative newspaper, magazines and having a degree in journalism or communications are some factors that one court who dealt with this issue in the USA considered to make the distinction between journalists and bloggers.

Let me cut to the chase on this. The Nigerian Union of Journalists appears to be making an implicit and express threat to bring war against Nigerian bloggers. I know this has been tried before and was unsuccessful. I am pretty sure they are barking up the wrong tree, as in “dem no fit.”

Read an excerpt below from statements allegedly attributed to the group. In addition, watch a clip of a recent debate on whether Nigerian bloggers can be or are journalists.

“Mr. Deji Gbolahan Elumoye is the Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, a body that controls the affair of members of the fourth estate of the realm. The Associate Editor of ThisDay Newspaper is one of those who are displeased with the activities of bloggers. The seasoned journalist, as the chairman of the union in Lagos, has revealed that serious meetings are on-going to check the menace of bloggers in Nigeria. . .”

Nigeriafilms.com has the full story.

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