As the nation prepares for the general election next year and to achieve true democracy, press freedom must be guaranteed to allow journalists play their role unfettered, unbiased, and without fear or favor.
Mr Amos Onokevbagbe, Chief Executive Officer, Caracal Reports, New York/Nigeria made this known during an interactive session with journalists yesterday in Lagos.
According to him, if there must be a change in the country, journalists must not sell their conscience but they should be objective in their reportage and must use their pens positively and not negatively.
” The media is an essential component of a democratic society, and it has a duty to provide undiluted information that people require to make informed decisions. It also serves as a check and balance to make sure elected officials uphold their oath of office. It is important to note that the media has a gate-keeping function and exclusive capacity to control what is reported.
In his words, the role of the press will go a long way in deciding the outcome of the exercise and this can only be achieved if the media plays their role as the unbiased umpire with the public interest at heart.
” The media which is an essential component of a democratic society, and it has a duty to provide undiluted information that people require to make informed decisions. The media also serves as a check to make sure our elected officials uphold their oath of office. It is important to note that the media has a gate-keeping function and exclusive capacity to control what is reported.
He condemned the action of the government where they select media houses to cover events is condemnable as it infringes on the freedom of the Press, which was seen during the coverage of the ongoing trial of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu. Also, it is regrettable that the government sanctioned some media houses over their reportage during the EndSARs saga in 2020.
” Despite the challenges confronting the media industry in the country, journalists must understand the negative implications of allowing themselves to be bought over by politicians. They should not trading their gatekeeping role for brown envelopes from politicians and their allies as it is harmful to the country