Federal government yesterday appraised the role of the media in the country, saying the industry remains indispensable in the sustenance of a virile democracy.
In his remarks when he received the management of Guardian Newspaper in Abuja, the minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said no true democracy survives without a professional, responsible and independent media.
Mohammed said it is in this context that the government continues to view the media as a strong partner.
He said in an era of fake news and misinformation, the media has a duty to get its facts right.
The minister said the media does itself a great favour by ensuring that charlatans and hack writers do not dominate the media space, as it’s increasingly becoming the case here in Nigeria.
According to him, ‘’The media remains indispensable to the sustenance of a virile democracy.
As a matter of fact, no true democracy survives without a professional, responsible and independent media. It is in this context that the government continues to view the media as a strong partner.
‘’Of course, the Nigerian media has earned its epaulette over the years, and it is regarded among the most independent and fearless in these parts.
‘’It is said that for the media to be able to play its role, which is to inform, criticize and stimulate debate, it must take responsibility for whatever it puts out. In other words, it must get its facts right. But can we say today that most of what we read, hear, and watch in the news are factual?’’
He stated that it will not be out of place for reputable media organizations like the Guardian to set up a special desk for fact-checking as a panacea for this problem.
Speaking earlier, editor-in-chief, Guardian Newspaper, Mr Martins Oloja, said the organisation is aware that the country is currently facing challenges.
He said, ‘’We know there are challenges. Our editors understand the challenges and we have great editorial team members, we do come to guide us.’’
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