4:53 pm - Saturday May 24, 1332

NIGERIA is only the best country in Africa that enables Fairest Free Press-Minister of Information & Culture, Lai Mohammed …‘Our country has a vibrant enabling environment, pluralistic freedom for press’ *Nigerian media will never be a threat but key partners in the progress of the country *“It is a well-known fact that freedom of expression is a fundamental human right enshrined in our various statutes and legal mechanisms, a key feature of democracy across the world. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights captures this succinctly” *“We launched a national campaign against fake news and hate speech in 2018. It was a campaign that brought the issue to the front burner of our national discourse. Journalists within the West African sub-region should join hands with our various governments to curb the activities of journalists who taint the our image, good works and put to disgrace the ethos and professionalism of this very important profession” *BY SADE OLAYIWOLE/MEDIA Staff Writer, Abuja

NIGERIA is only the best country in Africa that enables Fairest Free Press -Minister of Information & Culture, Lai Mohammed

…‘Our country has a vibrant enabling environment, pluralistic freedom for press’

*Nigerian media will never be a threat but key partners in the progress of the country

*“It is a well-known fact that freedom of expression is a fundamental human right enshrined in our various statutes and legal mechanisms, a key feature of democracy across the world. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights captures this succinctly”

*“We launched a national campaign against fake news and hate speech in 2018. It was a campaign that brought the issue to the front burner of our national discourse. Journalists within the West African sub-region should join hands with our various governments to curb the activities of journalists who taint the our image, good works and put to disgrace the ethos and professionalism of this very important profession”

*BY SADE OLAYIWOLE/MEDIA Staff Writer, Abuja

NIGERIA’S MINISTER of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has come out to address the world on the noble role Africa’s most populous nation in the world has been playing in ensuring the practice of journalism in a free way for media practitioners in the country. He stated that Nigeria is the only country in Africa that enables the fairest free press in the continent. 

Mohammed, has said Nigeria has a vibrant, pluralistic and free press, which would not have been possible without an enabling environment.

He said under the regime of the President, Major General Muhammad Buhari (retd.), the media will never be seen as a threat but as key partners in the progress of the country.

Mohammed said this during the UNESCO World Report on Freedom of Expression 2021/20221 at Thursday’s Regional Forum for West Africa.

He said, “The report being presented today will further provide our leaders, media administrators, practitioners, and various stakeholders in the information sector insights into the successes achieved and the multidimensional challenges to freedom of expression and media development within the context of our various legal frameworks.

“It is a well-known fact that freedom of expression is a fundamental human right enshrined in our various statutes and legal mechanisms.

“And it is also a key feature of democracy across the world. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights captures this succinctly.

“Over the years, countries have made efforts to liberalise the media landscape by making it conducive for practitioners by adopting laws in this regard. We have also seen the glaring need to protect journalists and build their capacities to conform to the ever-changing standards of practice, especially with emerging technologies and particularly social media. UNESCO has provided leadership in this regard.

“As a country, Nigeria has always championed the observance of rights of freedom of expression and the safety of Journalists. However, we have always insisted that this right that we all enjoy, especially as media practitioners, comes with a huge responsibility; a responsibility that says we must be cautious in the use of information at our disposal to avoid misinformation, fake news, and hate speech which, if not well managed, could lead to serious disaffection and chaos in the society.

“I make bold to state here that Nigeria has a vibrant, pluralistic, and free press, which would not have been possible without an enabling environment.

“I reiterated this point when I recently received the executive members of the Nigerian chapter of the International Press Institute at my office in Abuja.

“At that meeting, I restated the commitment of the present administration, led by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, that under our watch, the media will never be seen as a threat but as key partners in the progress of our dear country.

“At this juncture, please permit me to say that in Nigeria, we have made the freedom of expression, not just a guiding principle but also a key priority, just like the safety of our media practitioners.”

Lamenting the spread of misinformation and fake news, the Minister urged media houses to set up a fact-checking desk to arrest such prevalence.

He said, “It is instructive to note that the freedom of expression we enjoy comes with a huge responsibility.

“Sadly, some of our compatriots in the journalism profession take advantage of this freedom to engage in misinformation and hate speech and to spread fake news.

“That was why we launched a national campaign against fake news and hate speech in 2018, a campaign that has brought the issue to the front burner of national discourse.

“I want to urge journalists within the West African sub-region to join hands with our various governments to curb the activities of such journalists who taint the image and good works of those of us who desire to uphold the ethos and professionalism of this very important profession.

“As a step towards the realisation of this, I call on journalists and media houses to set up a fact-checking desk to arrest the prevalence of misinformation, fake news, and hate speech in our society.”

CERTAINLY, Good journalism costs a lot of money. Without doubt, only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government. We are ready to hold every corrupt government accountable to the citizens. To continually enjoy free access to the best investigative journalism in Nigeria, we are requesting of you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavor.”

By contributing to NAIJA STANDARD NEWSPAPER, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all without fear or favor.

Your donation is voluntary — please decide how much and how often you want to give. For offline donation, email: letters@nigeriastandardnewspaper.com or call +2348037128048 (Nigeria) or +16825834890 (United States of America)

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