By Chukwudi Nweje
The media has been charged to continue to live up to its responsibility of holding the government accountable to the people as enshrined in Section 22 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo gave the charge at the launch of Broadcasters International Magazine in Lagos saying the media was an indispensable partner in deepening politics and governance in the country.
Osinbajo, represented by Senator Babafemi Ojudu, special assistant on political matters to President Muhammadu Buhari, said the media creates, moulds and reflects the heartbeat of the society.
He also charged broadcast media practitioners to get in tune with new era media practice in order to be more relevant in a world that is moving towards digital media.
“Broadcasters must adapt to these changes to stay relevant. Identifying the key changes and emerging trends in broadcasting will help those in the industry to determine how to adjust their media strategies, what tactics will most likely lead to success and how to better prepare for the future. However, even as we strive to make governance more transparent and accountable in its workings, and to pursue transparency in governance as well as rid it of the old habits of secrecy and opacity ingrained during the era of military rule, we have realised that abuse of state power is not the only threat to the liberal tradition.”
Osinbajo charged media practitioners to be careful about the proliferation of fake news, which he said could destroy the country if not checked.
“We have moved from the era of television broadcasting to overall broadcasting. We have moved from the era when broadcasting was the monopoly of government to an era of digital broadcasting. We have to deal with issues, such as the proliferation of fake news because fake news will kill the industry if it is not checked.”
He added that there was no reason why Nigerians would have to rely on foreign media to get information on what is happening within the country.