By Udora Orizu
On the occasion of the 2020 World Press Freedom Day, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, has lauded the doggedness of the Nigerian media in reporting and helping in finding solutions to the challenges facing the country over the years.
Commenting on this year’s theme, ‘Journalism Without Fear or Favour,’ Gbajabiamila commended journalists who have been working hard at the front line for reporting the coronavirus pandemic at great personal cost.
The Speaker, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Lanre Lasisi, also said no country would thrive if the media spreads falsehood.
He appealed to the Nigerian media to rise to the challenge of fake news, especially as the country battles the Covid-19 pandemic, saying such news would not do the country any good.
Gbajabiamila said: “Although the Nigerian media has contributed a lot in stabilizing the country, it would not be out of place to call on media practitioners in the country to be more factual about their reportage of activities in the society with a view to promoting development.
“The media must also support the government in its drive to make meaningful impact in the country as well as call the same government to order where it is evident that it drifts. The choice is ours: either to make our country great through good reportage and analysis of issues, or to allow fake news and, in many cases, flagrant falsehood to take over the space. At this age of social/online media, the onus is on the real journalists to make a difference.
“But I believe that the Nigerian media would not do anything that will take us backwards. I also want to believe that media practitioners in the country are ever committed to seeing the country move forward. If that is the case, we must show patriotism in our dealings as media men and women.”