As the world celebrates Press Freedom Day, President Muhammadu Buhari has saluted journalists and advised them to adhere to the ethics of the profession to be more meaningful to the nation.
He said: “Without adherence to ethics, professions turn awry, and become part of national malaise, rather than solutions.’’
Mr Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity) on Thursday quoted Buhari in a statement as saying advising journalists to constantly recommit to the canons of fairness.
“Journalists must constantly recommit to the canons of fairness, accuracy, objectivity, balance, and other ideals that guide their profession.
On this occasion of World Press Freedom Day, I urge you to rededicate yourselves to the role of being watchdogs of society, while being mindful of the cohesion and equilibrium of that same society.
There are always those who want to use the media to emphasize our fault lines as a people, dwell on primordial sentiments, and keep the country perpetually on the same spot. Be wary of such,” Buhari advised.
The President noted that the theme of this year’s celebration, “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation’’, was quite germane for Nigeria, having recently concluded general elections.
He urged the media to reflect on the deleterious effect of fake news, misinformation and disinformation before, during and after the polls.
President Buhari affirmed that government would continue to ensure that the media was not muzzled in any way, since democracy and freedom of expression were kindred spirits.
“Our administration is committed to the highest levels of transparency, and we will guarantee press freedom at all times.
“We only require that the freedom be used responsibly, and for lofty ideals of national unity and development,” the President asserts.