Gbajabiamila Urges Media To Protect Democracy In Reportage


Disclaim Rumours About Impeachment Of Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila- House Of Representatives Speaks 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila has tasked media practitioners to protect Nigeria’s democracy in their reportage.

Gbajabiamila made the call on Saturday, September 10, at a workshop organised for members of the House of Representatives Press Corps in Abuja.

The workshop, titled “Deepening Legislative Knowledge through Critical Reporting’’, was organised by the Office of the Speaker for media practitioners in Abuja.

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The speaker said that democracy was a fragile construct, saying that it depended on the support of the electorate and required active participation by an informed citizenry.

Gbajabiamila said that democracy demanded competence, capacity, and integrity from those overseeing the affairs of the state, saying that it would not survive long unless both the leaders and the citizens operated within the rule of law.

According to the lawmaker, democracy also requires careful tending and robust defence as a matter of course.

The role of the press in a democracy is multi-faceted. You inform the public and you educate them about the law and government, politics and governance.

You record history as it happens and preserve the national memory as a guide and warning for the future.

And you hold power to account, ensuring that those who are chosen to serve the public interest keep faith with the citizens who depend on them.

Democracy will not long survive without a vibrant, independent, innovative and patriotic press.

Gbajabiamila said that while the landscape within which the press operated had changed in dramatic ways, the duties of the press and the public expectation of them remained the same.

He said it was expect of journalists and media organisations to maintain a high level of professional conduct.

The lawmaker said citizens demanded accurate reporting and detailed analysis of public policy and expected the media to continue to defend their rights, hold the powerful to account and promote the public good through journalism practice.

On Professionalism 

Also, the spokesman for the House of Representatives, Rep. Benjamin Kalu (APC-Abia) tasked the media on professionalism as the country looked forward to the general elections in 2023.

According to the lawmaker, the press is at the centre of a successful governance, overseeing the synergy of governance and communication.

Kalu said that the press was often referred to as the fourth estate of the realm because it was a vital component of democracy.

He said the media had explicit capacity of advocacy and the implicit capacity to frame political issues, not just for social discourse but also, for the information and consideration of the legislature and other policymakers.

As we enter the election season, the press should centre its reportage on issues and not persons. The press should avoid being misused as tools for character assassination.

The press in this period should only project things that advance the trust in our democracy.

The press should showcase only campaigns that tell the electorate about the candidates, their antecedents and their objectives to enable electorate to get educated on why they should vote for any candidate.

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