The Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, has urged the media to remain vibrant in spite of the huge financial challenges it is facing.
Tambuwal made the appeal in Sokoto on Thursday while declaring open the 15th All Nigeria Editors Conference (ANEC 2019) in Sokoto.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the theme of the conference is, “A Distressed Media: Impact On Government, Governance and Society.”
According to Tambuwal, the media is also feeling the heat of the harsh economic environment.
“I urge you not to despair, keep faith and remain unbowed.
“The difficult times will give way to a better and prosperous future but there is serious work to be done.
“The media may also initiate a serious conversation on the place of the media in the age of information technology.
“People now prefer to read newspapers online.
“Online publishing may need to be prioritised. You may need to strategise on how to aggressively canvass for advertisement online,’’ the governor said.
“Our television and radio stations must reposition in order to compete favourably in a globalised world.
“I also urge the media to beam the searchlight on some untoward developments in our polity.
“While the Judiciary remains the last hope of the common man, the media remains the first place of call for any distressed citizen,’’ Tambuwal said.
He suggested the need to search for creative and innovative ways to boost Internally Generated Revenue in order to keep afloat.
He noted the threat by hate speech and efforts to regulate it through a law.
Tambuwal added that there were enough provisions in “our laws to deal with people whose actions could undermine national unity and cohesion”.
The governor urged the media to remain vigilant, saying that the media has a responsibility to educate and mobilise Nigerians to defend democracy.
“We must join hands to checkmate anti-democratic elements and return our country to the path of constitutionalism, progress and development,’’ he added.
He said the media occupied a special place in the history of Nigeria, noting that the media was in the forefront of the struggle for independence.
“It (media) waged a relentless battle against military authoritarianism. It has continued to serve as a check against the excesses of those in power.
“The media keeps us on our toes and ensures that we remain accountable to the people,” he said.
In an opening remark, a former Ogun State Governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba, noted that the media did not deserve the Hate Speech Law.
“I don’t think anybody will want to make the law to punish some of us who fought for democracy.
“We must all fight with anything that we have. I offer myself to lead you as a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress to lobby the lawmakers.
“We are trained journalists; we have our Code of Conduct instituted by the Nigerian Press Organisation.
“We have our standards. The social media is not part of the mainstream media. We are not part of the social media,’’ Osoba said
He thanked Tambuwal for hosting the Guild of Editors in his state.
NAN reported that over 200 editors are attending the conference. (NAN)