Media owners and practitioners have been tasked to stay true to their constitutional responsibilities with the aim of ensuring good governance in Nigeria.
This was the submission of media experts at a webinar organized by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and Media Rights Agenda with the theme – Role of the Media in Good Governance in Nigeria.
Speaking at the webinar, Chris Isiguzo, President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), explained that it is important that media organizations and practitioners uphold the ethics of the profession to enable them promote good governance in Nigeria.
Isiguzo noted that, “it is the duty of the media to highlight the main duties and obligations of the government to the people and to ensure that the government is answerable to the people.”
Isizugo also stated that there cannot be good governance without a free press and urged the government to give an enabling environment for the media to operate.
Laolu Akande, Spokesman to the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo explained that “for the media to play its role in good governance, it must understand that it defines the event, it performs the watchdog role and it is the way maker.
For the media to play its role in good governance, “the media must understand that it defines the event, it perform the watchdog role and it is the way maker.
Akande also noted that “it will take the concerted efforts of stakeholders to work on what needs to be done to move the media forward to ensure good governance.
“The media need to test the laws that enhance media practice rather than wait for the government.
He thereafter called for the development of a national consensus which will stipulate the minimum wage for reporters and enforcement of ethical behaviours.
Dr. Ann Iyonu, Executive Director, Goodluck Jonathan Foundation noted that the media has not adequately utilized the provision of the Freedom of Information Act to demand for accountability from the government.
She urged the media to make effective use of the FOI Act and “to press further by taking the public institutions to court if they deny citizens’ information, rather than take a back seat.”
Regarding the necessary measures that could help to position the media appropriately in ensuring good governance, Dr. Ann Iyonu believes that there should be capacity building for journalists on investigative journalism.
“They should be trained on regular laws applicable to their job as well as application of technology,” she added.