The Constitution of the:
GUILD OF CORPORATE ONLINE PUBLISHERS (GOCOP)
The Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP), a non-governmental, non-partisan, non-profit making organisation, for owners of online news publications in Nigeria.
The name of the association shall be Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP), registered under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with the powers to sue and be sued.
- Aims and Objectives:
- To preserve the traditions and standards of practice of journalism in Nigeria by
canvassing in cooperation with other journalistic bodies, a strict adherence to the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Code of Ethics.
- To defend and protect the interest of online news publishers in Nigeria.
- To defend the rights of the press and its access to unhindered flow of information.
- To encourage the training, retraining of and education of journalists in association with other stakeholders.
- To articulate the views of online publishers on issues of public interest.
- You must have practised journalism for at least 10 years.
- Non journalist who establishes an online news publication must appoint an editor who has practised for at least 10 years.
- Your company must be registered as a media entity with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
- Members must have a verifiable and functional office in Nigeria.
- You must have a minimum of two reporters and other layers of staff.
- Your online publication must have been in existence for a minimum of one year.
- You must be recommended by at least two financial members of the association.
- To be admitted to the Association, the Screening Committee must certify that you have met the requirements (a to g) above.
You may lose membership:
- If you fail to keep your financial obligations to the Association for at least three
- If you are proven to have engaged in any form of unethical conduct.
Organs of GOCOP
- General Congress.
- National Executive Committee (NEC).
- Board of Trustees.
- Standing Committees (Ethic/Disciplinary Committee, Screening Committee and others that might be necessary).
- Each member shall pay an annual due to be fixed by the NEC and other levies as NEC may determine.
- The Annual due may be periodically reviewed subject to approval by NEC.
- The Association shall accept donations and grants from credible individuals, organisations and foundations as NEC might deem necessary.
- The President shall be Principal Signatory to GOCOP’s Bank Account. The Financial Secretary and Treasurer shall be alternate signatories.
The General Congress:
- It comprises all financial members of the Association in good standing.
- The General Congress shall meet every year.
- There shall be elections into NEC Offices in October, every two years.
- The General Congress shall:
– at the resumption of every congress elect a chairman who shall direct the affairs of that year’s meeting.
– The chairman shall not be a member of NEC.
– Elect the officers of GOCOP.
– Review the membership of the Board of Trustees as may be deemed necessary.
– Debate and pass resolutions on matters related to GOCOP’s aims and objectives.
– Consider the audited account of GOCOP.
– Receive annual report from the Secretary and Address from the President.
– Appoint GOCOP’s Auditors for the following year.
– Consider other matters that may be referred to it by the NEC.
– Quorum shall be two-thirds (2/3) of the financial members.
The NEC shall comprise the following:
- Deputy President.
- Secretary General.
- Deputy General Secretary.
- Financial Secretary.
- Publicity Secretary.
NEC shall run the day to day activities of the Association.
It shall constitute the Standing Committees.
NEC shall meet not less than four times a year.
NEC shall convene Annual Congress every October.
NEC shall organise election in October every two years.
Duties of Officers
The President shall direct the affairs of GOCOP; preside over NEC meetings where he is present. He shall ensure the effective application and enforcement of the provisions of this Constitution. He shall be a Principal signatory to GOCOP’s Bank account (s).
The Deputy President
The Deputy President shall assist the President in the general performance of his duties and deputise in his absence.
The Secretary General
The Secretary shall administer the secretariat. The Secretary shall issue notices of GOCOP meetings, prepare the agenda and circulate its minutes promptly. He shall facilitate the work of the Standing Committees.
Deputy Secretary General
The Deputy Secretary shall assist the Secretary in the smooth running of the secretariat and will deputise in the absence of the Secretary.
The Financial Secretary
The Financial Secretary shall keep all financial records and ensure the annual audit if GOCOP’s financial transactions. The Financial Secretary shall be an alternate signatory to GOCOP’s Bank Accounts.
The Treasurer is the custodian of GOCOP’s funds and shall ensure proper disbursement and accounting in line with this constitution and global best practice. He shall be a signatory to GOCOP’s Bank Account (s). The Treasurer shall also ensure proper accounts are kept of all receipts and provide a periodic report to the NEC.
The Publicity Secretary
The Publicity Secretary shall be the spokesperson of GOCOP and shall organise publicity for the Association.
Tenure of Office
No one shall hold office for more than two terms of two years each. However, an officer who serves for two terms can vie for another office.
Election of Officers
Election to NEC shall be held at the General Congress in October, every Two Years. A member, who has discharged his obligations to GOCOP and is in good standing, qualifies to vote and vie for office, provided that a candidate for office must have been a member of GOCOP for at least Two Years.
The Secretary General Shall give 30 days Notice before the conduct of the General Congress. The Secretary shall also circulate a list of financial members qualified for election with the notice of the election meeting.
The NEC shall be dissolved by a motion to that effect after the adoption of the audited report and address by the President and Secretary General at a General Congress. Voting Shall be by Secret Ballot.
Board of Trustees
Shall consist of individuals listed in the registration Certificate of the Association. They will play advisory role, especially with respect to conflict resolution and any other matter.
NEC Shall Constitute the following Standing Committees:
– Ethic/Disciplinary Committee.
– Screening Committee.
– And others that might be necessary.
- Any member can resign his membership.
- Where an officer resigns, the runner-up at the last election shall assume office, provided he is still interested. Where there is no challenger/or the runner up is not interested, a bye-election shall be organised within three months to fill such vacancies.
Revocation of membership:
The membership of any person who fails to discharge his/her duties and obligation to the Association for period of Three consecutive years shall be deemed to have lapsed and stands revoked. Such a member will be informed of the decision by a letter signed by the President and the Secretary General.
- A member shall be deemed to be a member only if he/she has paid the annual subscription and other levies that may be charged.
- A member shall be free to participate in the programmes of the Association such as the General Congress and any other programme such as lectures, workshops etc.
The order of precedence in GOCOP shall be as follows:
- Board of Trustees
- Past President
- Deputy President
- Other NEC Officers
The Constitution may be amended at the Annual General Congress of the Association by two-thirds majority of the financial members in good standing attending, provided that 30 days notice of the proposed amendment shall have been given by the Secretary General.