- The rise of digital platforms and the decline of traditional print media have presented financial challenges for media organizations.
- Budget cuts, layoffs, and downsizing have become all too common, leaving many journalists uncertain about their job security and financial stability.
I recently spoke with a colleague about the status of the media industry and its projections for this year.
It's hard to say how journalists will navigate these changes, especially given the current trends.
During our discussion, my colleague shared his involvement in a business that has been profitable for him.
He challenged me to follow the path of journalists who have retired comfortably after successful careers.
We both agreed, as usual, to save and stay committed to our work.
Today, I am reminded that thousands of recent media graduates are entering the field, many of whom possess more creativity than experienced professionals like myself, who may have become stuck in outdated storytelling methods.
The reality has finally dawned on us that the media industry is more than dressing nicely, walking to a presser, asking a few questions to look sharp as I was told, filing a story and later sending it to your editor who will replace you immediately you ask questions about your welfare and label you appreciative, despite him/her allowing you to be famous.
Instead of using this platform to complain, I want to challenge myself, my colleagues and media stakeholders to consider introducing courses and training programmes on financial literacy for journalists.
There is a story of a journalist who would rally his colleagues to go on strike in the middle of the month when he ran out of money, only to withdraw his threats once the end of the month arrived.
This situation seems to be more connected to financial literacy rather than the ethics of journalism.
Journalists are facing increasingly difficult economic times in today's evolving media landscape.
The rise of digital platforms and the decline of traditional print media have presented financial challenges for media organisations.
Budget cuts, layoffs and downsizing have become all too common, leaving many journalists uncertain about their job security and financial stability.
Freelance journalists on the other hand encounter their own set of troubles, including inconsistent income and limited access to benefits.
In the face of these challenges, some journalists have found innovative ways to navigate the changing economic landscape.
However, others are completely unaware of how to handle the financial burdens that come at the end of each month.
It's disheartening to witness junior reporters in some media establishments competing with senior editors regarding appearance and material possessions.
Now is the opportune time to leverage the expertise of senior and retired journalists in the industry to mentor upcoming journalists on financial literacy.
These individuals have been through it all. They understand the struggle of going home hungry and the confusion that arises from receiving a six-figure payment for freelancers after two months of hard work on a challenging story.
Some also know what it's like to spend evenings at a popular joint in town, only to bring home a few coins to their loving wives.
The idea of establishing a Savings and Credit Cooperative specifically for journalists has been circulating for some time.
Unfortunately, it has faced quiet opposition, and I fail to understand the reasons behind such.
Perhaps it's time to push for it forcefully.
With a few threats and court cases, we could make progress. Ama namna gani?
That aside, I hope this year brings fairness to journalists who continue to expose injustices in our society while remaining steadfast in their work.
The writer is a community radio journalist