ABUJA – President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to continue to support the freedom of the press and urged media professionals to wield freedom responsibly, without excess.
The President while celebrating the 2021 World Press Freedom Day with the media noted that freedom of the press is an irreducible minimum in a democracy that would flourish, adding that freedom must, however, be used responsibly.
“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 President in a statement issued by his special adviser on media and publicity Femi Adesina said 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 the nations unity in diversity.”
Excess freedom, the President says, is different from freedom with responsibility and charged the Nigerian media to embrace the latter, rather than the former.
President Buhari 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.’
He charged 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 explained 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.
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