President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the Nigerian media to be sensitive and not to further inflame the passion and emotions of Nigerians with their reports, especially with the current situation of the country.
President Buhari said this in a statement issued by Femi Adesina, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, on Sunday, on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day, which is observed globally every May 3.
The statement quoted the President as saying that the media is an important component of democracy but insisted that it must function responsibly.
He urged media professionals to wield freedom responsibly, and without licentiousness.
The statement read: “That everything is permitted does not mean that there are no rules of correctness, particularly in a polity seriously challenged as ours now.
“The media must be sensitive to what we are going through as a country, and anything that would exacerbate the situation, and further inflame passions and emotions, should be avoided.
“The media needs to ensure that while informing, educating, entertaining and setting agenda for public discourse, it does not encourage incendiary words and actions that could further hurt our unity in diversity.
“Licentious freedom, the President says, is different from freedom with responsibility, and charges the Nigerian media to embrace the latter, rather than the former.”
Adesina said President Buhari recommitted his administration’s stance to freedom of the press also pledged greater cooperation with the media to discharge its duties, in line with the theme of this year’s World Press Freedom Day, ‘Information as a Public Good’.
The statement read: “On the part of government, President Buhari pledges greater cooperation with the media to discharge its duties, in line with the theme of this year’s World Press Freedom Day, ‘Information as a Public Good.’
“He charges those who manage information for government to do everything in the public interest, while also encouraging the media to use the Freedom of Information Act available to make its jobs easier.
“The President submits that it is very vital to have access to reliable information in an era of misinformation, disinformation and hate speech, all to cause discord in society.”