By Nume Ekeghe and Oluchi Chibuzor
The Deputy Managing Director of THISDAY Newspapers, Mr. Kayode Komolafe, has tasked financial journalists on the need to be vast with necessary technicalities of their beat in order to authoritatively interpret the trends in the industry.
This, according to him, is because financial journalism is one of the most specialised beats in the newsroom, whether physical or virtual.
Komolafe stated this at the 2020 Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation(NDIC) workshop organised for business editors and members of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN), with the theme: ‘COVID-19 and Fintech Disruption: Opportunities and Challenges for Banking System and Depositors Insurance,’ held in Kaduna.
While delivering a paper virtually on ‘The Role of the Media in Promoting Financial Systems Stability in COVID-19 Era and Beyond,’ he said no quality medium, whether newspaper, television network or a blog, that desires the attention of decision-makers in the public or private sector can afford to ignore the primacy of financial news and analysis in its content.
“In a period of enormous disruptions, journalists reporting the financial sector should hone their skills in critical reading and authoritative interpretation of the trends of things in the industry. As a matter of duty, the financial journalist should be an interlocutor in the emerging trends and issues within the industry.
“In this regard, the financial journalists should be morally, intellectually and technically equipped to perform the crucial role in the interest of the public. “Financial journalists should keep abreast of the publications of the various financial institutions they report. They should subscribe to journals and read books published on issues and development in the industry.
“In effect, the financial sector is not immune to the new normal, which pervades the economy and society. As scientists continue to seek a deeper understanding of the virus, financial experts are globally drawing lessons from its consequences. They are examining the implications on banking competitions, interest rates, technological trends, contending forces of globalisation and anti-globalisation, regulations among others,” Komolafe explained.
He argued that a newspaper is respected as a serious content provider when the finance and economy section is rich in factual news and informed analyses, insisting that the media (financial journalist) has the constitutional role of holding the government and other decision-makers in the Speaking on equipping the financial correspondent to play its role effectively, the THISDAY DMD stressed that it was the media that could make the voices of the experts ‘louder’.
He added that: “Nigerian financial journalists should be more perceptive in amplifying the voices of experts, players, regulators, analysts, constructive and informed critics of the system. At a time like this, the financial journalists should sufficiently equip themselves to be able to engage the public on the problems and their solutions in the industry. Doubtless, the role of informed and professionally courageous journalists is central to avoiding instability or promoting stability in the sector.”
On updates on the COVID-19 crisis, the renowned journalist said it would be in the interest of the stability of the financial system for the financial journalists to be up to date in the unfolding economic crisis triggered by the coronavirus.
On reporting beyond the pandemic, the DMD warned that as a dutiful watchdog of the system, it was in the public interest for the financial journalists to have a good grounding of the policy dynamics that the monumental changes of the system could bring about in the coming years.
“It is expected that in order to adapt to the dynamic of things in the post-COVID-19 era, finance reporters must also change their methodology of work and orientation so that they could fulfill the important role of promoting stability in the financial system,” Komolafe added.