The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila said wednesday that the current democracy being enjoyed by Nigerians was the outcome of the sacrifice and struggle by the Nigerian media without which, it would have been impossible to have democracy in the country.
The Speaker who spoke in Abuja at the unveiling of the of the Green Chamber Magazine and official lapel pin of the House of Representatives, paid glowing tributes to the media for their sacrifice in being the current democracy to bear.
The Speaker said “the country has long benefited from the work of dedicated media professionals; men and women possessed of incredible talent and abundant courage, who risked life and limb to tells stories that exposed malfeasance and abuse and held the powerful to account.
“I can say with absolute confidence, that this our democratic settlement could never have been achieved without the noble daring of the press. Those unsung heroes who understood the power of the written word and wielded it in passionate denunciation of the tyranny that sought to consume us all.
“I am now, as I always have been, a passionate believer in the value of a free and unfettered press. I am also, am unrepentant advocate of quality and honest journalism.
Today, there are others, who have themselves discovered the power of the word to inform and enlighten, to motivate and inspire, and have continued in that noble tradition of holding the powerful to account.
“They operate within a media environment that too often chooses instead to elevate the voices of charlatans, and digital arsonists who exploit the democracy of the internet to spread fake news for clicks and profit and in service of base agendas.”
He said the Green Magazine is “a platform that is dedicated to the practice of a true and noble journalism, acting always in the best interests of the people, rejecting the temptation to use the power of the word for evil, when there is so much good yet to do.
“We have come here to show that in spite of the economic pressures brought on by the advancements in new media, it is still possible to do journalism with integrity, eschewing the false promise of click bait headlines and fake news editorials.
“The Green Chamber magazine is not a propagandist outlet. Our service to the people who elected us, is not enabled in any way by having at our beck and call, a media outfit that exists to massage our egos and tell us what we want to hear.
“Public service always benefits from being held to impartial account. Any public service conducted in secrecy is suspect.
The vision for the Green Chamber Magazine is that through this platform, the 9th House of Representatives may contribute to the enthronement of a journalistic tradition that is grounded in the ideals of honest reporting and focused on making real the old promise of open government.
” Therefore, I want all of reporters, researchers, writers and contributors who will work to produce this magazine, to go out there with the absolute mandate to seek truth without fear, to exercise good judgment always, and to act continuously in the best interests of the Nigerian people. Rest assured of my support and that of my colleagues in the House.”