President Buhari has Issue Strong Warning To all Nigerian Media owners.
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged journalists to be sensitive in their reporting and avoid stories that would exacerbate the country’s crisis.
Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, said in a statement on Sunday that the President made the call in his message to commemorate World Press Freedom Day, which is observed every May 3 around the world.
On World Press Freedom Day, President Buhari called for “responsible journalism,” according to the release.
He said the President reaffirmed his commitment to press freedom and encouraged journalists to exercise it responsibly and without licentiousness.
The President, according to him, said that press freedom is an unavoidable minimum in a flourishing democracy, but that this freedom must be exercised responsibly.
“That all is permitted does not mean that there are no rules of correctness, especially in a polity as badly challenged as ours now,” he quoted Buhari as saying.
“The media must be responsive to what our nation is going through, and something that might escalate the crisis and inflame passions and feelings should be avoided.
“While informing, educating, entertaining, and setting the agenda for public debate, the media must ensure that incendiary words and acts do not further damage our unity in diversity.”
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The President, according to Adesina, differentiated between licentious freedom and freedom with accountability, and urged the Nigerian media to accept the latter rather than the former.
“On the part of the government, President Buhari pledges greater cooperation with the media in carrying out its responsibilities, in line with the theme of this year’s World Press Freedom Day, ‘Information as a Public Good,’” the statement continued.
“He exhorts those in charge of government records to act in the public interest at all times, while also urging the media to take advantage of the Freedom of Information Act to make their work easier.
“In an age of misinformation, disinformation, and hate speech, the President contends that getting access to credible information is critical.”
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