President Muhammadu Buhari has said that journalism profession that is bereft of ethics easily becomes what he called, national malaise instead of solutions to the nation’s challenges.
The President, who greeted journalists across Nigeria today, Tuesday, as they will tomorrow, Friday, join their professional colleagues around the globe to mark World Press Freedom Day today, said: “without adherence to ethics, the professions turn awry, and become part of national malaise, rather than solutions. That is why journalists must constantly recommit to the canons of fairness, accuracy, objectivity, balance, and other ideals that guide their profession.
“On this occasion of World Press Freedom Day, I urge you to rededicate yourselves to the role of being watchdogs of society, while being mindful of the cohesion and equilibrium of that same society. There are always those who want to use the media to emphasize our fault lines as a people, dwell on primordial sentiments, and keep the country perpetually on the same spot. Be wary of such.”
The President said that the theme of this year’s celebration, Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation, is quite germane for Nigeria, having recently concluded the nation’s general elections.
He advised the media to reflect on the deleterious effect of fake news, misinformation and disinformation before, during and after the polls.
President Buhari stressed that his government would continue to ensure that the media is not muzzled in any way, since democracy and freedom of expression are kindred spirits.
“Our administration is committed to the highest levels of transparency, and we will guarantee press freedom at all times. We only require that the freedom be used responsibly, and for lofty ideals of national unity and development.”
The World Press Freedom Day is observed every May 3 to celebrate fundamental principles of press freedom, evaluate press freedom round the world, defend media from attacks on their independence, and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.