House Of Reps Admits That Free Media Healthy For Democracy 

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The Nigeria House of Representatives has stressed the need to uphold freedom of press as it joins the global community of journalists and media practitioners in commemorating this year’s World Press Freedom Day.

Commemorated on May 3 annually, the observance of Press Freedom Day highlights the importance of a free media for healthy democracies, and provides an opportunity to celebrate journalists as agents of public good.

The Legislature said it is happy to celebrate and honour the work of every journalist and media practitioner across the country as they exercise their duty of upholding the fundamental objectives contained in the constitution, as well as, upholding the responsibility and accountability of government to the people.

The theme of this day which says ‘A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the Face of the Environmental Crisis’ alludes to the critical role that journalists play in creating necessary awareness at a time the world is battling some of the worst impacts of climate change.

The House believes Nigeria, is not excluded from this fight, since it is now ranked as one of the most vulnerable to climate change and this is reflected in the numerous issues being encountered, including flooding, drought, food insecurity, erosion, harsh weather, and even conflicts caused by resource shortages and struggle.

Millions of Nigerians turn to the media for answers and explanations in the face of these terrible and ever-changing circumstances. Hence, the media needs to accept responsibility and rewrite the story to make the main reason for these problems clear to the public. Amongst other initiatives, ample reporting on the complex reasons of conflicts brought on by climate change and other environmental effects will enable people to grasp the larger picture and the best ways to address the issue.

The House of Representatives also acknowledged the Nigerian media as one of the most vibrant institutions in the country.

“In this regard, we are working to engage the media in reviewing laws and practices that restrict press freedom and the ability of the media to carry out their constitutional role.

“As outlined in Agenda 6: Inclusion and Open Parliament of our Legislative Agenda (2023 – 20277), we are also enhancing good governance practices, transparency and accountability through media chats, public hearings, townhalls, etc., amongst other scheduled legislative actions.

Furthermore, we seize the opportunity of this important day, to call on journalists and media practitioners across our country to uphold responsible, independent, and fact-based journalism as it helps in protecting our democracy. Let us uphold responsible use of digital media and embrace the journalistic values of trust, truth and integrity at all times.

“We remain steadfast in support of press freedom as well as a healthy and democratic media environment.” it added.

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