Fayemi asks media to promote inclusion in security reporting

Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has called on the media to promote inclusion rather than sectarian exclusion when reporting security challenges in the country.

Fayemi spoke on Monday as the guest speaker at the 50th anniversary of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism the institute’s sixth convocation lecture.

The governor, whose lecture was titled, ‘Media, security and nation building,’ said, “The media’s role in the periods when a nation is experiencing security challenges is critical because these are moments when the civic impact of journalism is fully obvious. It is the time when the media must promote inclusion rather than sectarian exclusion.”

While stressing the links between nation building and national security and highlighting the role of the media, Fayemi added, “In any liberal democratic state, the media are expected to perform certain functions within the political system.

“These include agenda-setting, that is identifying key issues in the polities; offering accessible platforms for intelligible, illuminating advocacy by public servants and interest groups; serving as a bridge for dialogue across a wide range of views by power-holders, aspirants to political offices, and the citizenry; holding public officials accountable for their use and misuse of power; educating and motivating citizenry about politics – including electoral politics – and participation in civic life and maintaining independence and integrity.”

The Vice Chairman of NIJ’s Governing Council and chairman of the convocation lecture, Mr Ray Ekpu, said the media must strive to discharge their responsibilities professionally and ethically.

“It (discharging responsibilities professionally) is a sacred duty that we cannot and must not run away from. It is a sacred duty that we owe to ourselves and to our fatherland. It is a sacred responsibility that we owe to prosperity, to generations yet unborn.

“It is a sacred responsibility that we must discharge faithfully even in the face of threat, intimidation and harassment by the forces of retrogression,” he said.

Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye said ongoing attempts by federal lawmakers to regulate the media were not necessary.

He said, “They (the government) should help us control the excesses of members of the House.

“They must be educated on the power of the media. There is no need to overregulate the media as they are trying to do. There is no need for us to be talking about fake news. Government is also guilty of fake news.”

SOURCE: THE PUNCH

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