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Thursday, April 18, 2024

FG stresses commitment to press freedom and responsible journalism practice 

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The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, has reiterated the government’s unwavering commitment to upholding the principle of press freedom while urging media professionals to exercise their freedom with the utmost sense of responsibility.

Idris made the remarks in Abuja on Thursday when he received senior executives of the Centre for Media and Society (CEMESO) on a courtesy visit to his office.

“That is what I think the media industry will also help us to achieve. While we drive press freedom, we should also carry along with it the responsibility for the media to discharge its duty creditably, honestly, and transparently. You cannot report what is wrong and say you are doing press freedom. That is unacceptable,” he said.

The Minister said press freedom is the cornerstone of a thriving democracy and the government fully recognizes the importance of a vibrant media landscape in fostering democracy.

“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a product of press freedom and he cannot in any way stifle press freedom,” he said.

Idris said it is wrong to intentionally disseminate misinformation and inflammatory reports aimed at sowing discord and promoting anarchy within the society under the guise of press freedom.

“You cannot report issues with the intention to create disharmony and discontent that will ultimately lead to the breakdown of law and order for our citizens and say you are exercising press freedom,” he said.

Idris warned that the biggest victims of disinformation are media professionals, who are at risk of losing public trust, confidence, and credibility.

While responding to a request by the Executive Director of the Centre, Dr. Akin Akingbulu, on the review of certain sections of the constitution perceived to be hindering press freedom, the Minister gave the assurance that he would work with the National Assembly to achieve results.

Idris also promised to work with other stakeholders to promote compliance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act while warning against willful abuse of the Act.

Earlier, Dr. Akingbulu had commended the Minister for changing the narratives of the Ministry since his assumption of office, saying, “There is now a perception that the narratives coming out of here have changed and that the Information Sector in Nigeria is on course to a new era, an era of positive developments.

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