By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the media on fair and balanced reportage of government activities as the world marks the Press Freedom Day today.
The President in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his Special Adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, pledged unfettered environment for the media to do its work, but cautioned that responsibility was reciprocal.
He charged journalists to be mindful of fairness, justice, and national interest at all times.
Reflecting on this year’s theme; Keeping Power In Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law, the President re-affirmed commitment to an atmosphere in which the media is free from harassment or any form of attack in the exercise of the profession, within the ambit of the law.
“The media can count on us to keep our words, but we also want to be fairly reported. The media should hold ethics of the noble profession sacrosanct, and be wary of those bent on causing disaffection in the country,” Buhari said.
Stressing that a positively critical media was vital to national development, and the growth of democracy, the President submitted that a media that cavils will only generate unwarranted tension in a plural society like ours.
“The world is in the throes of animosities generated by fake news and hate speech, often spawned by some media, particularly the digital variant called social media. On this World Press Freedom Day, those involved in the negative antics should reflect, and ponder on how some countries have been thrown into tailspin by irresponsible use of the media. We have no other country than Nigeria, and what we make of it is what we get,” the President says.
“As we approach general elections next year, let our journalists resolve to report the process fairly and without bias, irrespective of who is involved. That would be the very essence of World Press Freedom Day,” the President affirmed.