By Deji Elumoye
Buhari, in a release on Sunday to mark the World Press Freedom Day by his Media Adviser, Femi Adesina, while stressing the commitment of his administration to the freedom of the press, urged media professionals to wield freedom responsibly and without licentiousness.
While celebrating the May 3 World Press Freedom Day with the media, the president emphasised that freedom of the press is an irreducible minimum in a democracy that would flourish, adding that freedom must, however, be used responsibly.
He said: “That everything is permitted does not mean that there are no rules of correctness, particularly in a polity seriously challenged as ours now. The media must be sensitive to what we are going through as a country, and anything that would exacerbate the situation, and further inflame passions and emotions, should be avoided.
“The media needs to ensure that while informing, educating, entertaining and setting agenda for public discourse, it does not encourage incendiary words and actions that could further hurt our unity in diversity.”
President Buhari stated that the licentious freedom is different from freedom with responsibility and charged the Nigerian media to embrace the latter, rather than the former.
On the part of government, the president pledged greater cooperation with the media to discharge its duties, in line with the theme of this year’s World Press Freedom Day, ‘Information as a Public Good’.
He charged those who manage government information to do everything in public interest, while also encouraging the media to use the Freedom of Information Act available to make its jobs easier.
According to him, it is very vital to have access to reliable information in an era of misinformation, disinformation and hate speech, all to cause discord in the society.
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