President of Journalists For Christ (JFC), Mr. Lekan Otufodunrin has explained that the faith-based organisation encourages Christian journalists to observe the ethics of the profession. He founded JFC in 1998.
Otufodunrin, who recently retired from the Nation newspaper after 13 years started his media career at the Punch newspaper in 1987 and rose to the position of Group News Editor before resigning from the media house in 1999.
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“One of the things that my career has helped me to accomplish is to have a fellowship of journalists who are Christians. I will call it a faith-based approach to journalism. We are in a society where people are either Christians or Muslims majorly,” he said.
The media trainer who now runs the Media Career Development Network, a media career training and research organisation added that, “If you also use your faith for your work it can help. These faiths also speak for best practices. Unfortunately many people claim to be either Christians or muslims but still violate some of these ethics.
“By and large, JFC is a faith based organisation where we come to talk about our faith and our work. It is a networking opportunity for journalists to find people who can mentor them to also be reminded about best practices because at fellowships we talk about ethics and spiritual matters.”
Otufodunrin, a Thompson Foundation Fellow and pioneering Editor of the Nation newspaper on Sunday added that, JFC has standing partnership with organisations across the world.
“It is a fellowship of Christian journalists in Nigeria and we have partnership with organisations across the world. We have also been involved in projects, monitoring IDP reportage, monitoring gender in the media. We have published reports sponsored by the Association of Christian Communication, we have been able to produced reports of our monitoring activities which have been so helpful.”
The former Editor Online and Director of Special Publication at the Nation newspaper said, JFC that started as a faith based organisation has become a household name among journalists in 23 years.
“With all due modesty I would say that we set out with a goal of being a faith based organisation and by and large we have achieved. JFC has become a household name and when you say you are a journalist for Christ the expectations are high and it helps you to live up to expectation of that name if you associate with us.
“We hold monthly fellowship, it is like having training every month, we are able to discuss about our profession. It is something that we do every month, many people look forward to it because the topics are very topical.
“Speakers at our fellowships are people you can’t easily find in some other meetings but because it is a spiritual atmosphere they come and we talk about issues and over the years we find people who have benefited from these trainings and have been able to achieve their career goals,” he said.