World Press Freedom Day is celebrated around the world on the 3rd of May every year. In a statement released this morning, Yakubu Dogara – the Speaker of the House of Representatives, assured Nigerians that the National Assembly will continue to enact laws that will create a conducive environment for Journalism to thrive.
Today is World Press Freedom Day. No society can grow without an active press to monitor and report its activities, and the National Assembly will continue to enact laws which will create a conducive environment for journalism to thrive in Nigeria.
The role the media plays in the development of a country as watchdog – especially in a democracy – cannot be overemphasized, and I hereby call on Nigerian media agencies/practitioners to partner with the present administration to make its task of fighting corruption a success, not only by objective reporting but through investigative journalism.
It is disheartening that the Press Freedom Index ranked Nigeria 122 out of 180 countries examined. The House of Representatives, being aware that the press must be free to truly be the watchdog of the society, will continue to support measures to promote press freedom in Nigeria, especially through laws that facilitate the practice of journalism such as the Freedom of Information Act, which was passed by the National Assembly in 2011.
The media serves as one of the voices of democracy and I believe that beyond all the roles played by all others, the media is far ahead in that it keeps the citizens informed about what government is doing and that enables them to hold public officials accountable, for instance, to the promises that they made.
I would like to urge practitioners to strive to ensure that there’s always timely, accurate and balanced reportage, as opposed to situations whereby some engage in brinkmanship or politicizing their content, as such acts tend to endanger democracy, because in that way citizens aren’t well informed.