Indeed, it is vital for democracy to create a responsible and free media to have a commitment to the values, mission, and standards of journalism from the top of the media to its base.
The independence of the media is, in fact, the first preconditions for democracy to flourish, it is possible for key elements in government to be committed to media that do not simply repeat what they would like to hear.
A current problem in many countries is the monopolization of media by powerful interests, whether private or public, which lessens the plurality of voices in the public sphere.
Perhaps the most important expression of an open relationship between media and the government is the airing of unpopular viewpoints that may reflect tensions in the society. If the mediascape is not open and pluralistic, these viewpoints may leave the democratic sphere and foment violence.
In his keynote speech at the International Press Institute (IPI) World Congress 2018 with the theme: “Why Good Journalism Matters: Quality Media For Strong Societies’’ yesterday at the presidential villa in Abuja, President Buhari said that for IPI to give Nigeria the hosting right for the conference they have made a wise and right choice.
‘’The changing media landscape, the explosion of the social media and the rapidly evolving new technology have had a profound impact on media business and media practice. It is satisfying, therefore, that you have chosen an appropriate theme for your conference: ‘Why Good Journalism Matters: Quality Media for Strong Societies.’
‘’In a world where the borderline between hate speech and free speech has become blurred, good journalism matters. In an environment where fake news dwarfs investigative reporting, Good Journalism Matters. For survival in an increasingly competitive field, Good Journalism Matters. Good journalism promotes good governance. I, therefore urge participants to give depth to the topic in your discussions and conclusions,’’ he said.
President Buhari said one of the reform initiatives of this administration is the introduction of visa on arrival policy.
He explained that the policy is designed to aid ease of doing business in Nigeria. He added that he was glad that international delegates to the conference are beneficiaries of the policy. ‘’Nigerian government has provided necessary support for a successful hosting right from the time our delegation presented its hosting bid in Qatar to the granting of that right in Germany last year. ‘’I commend the efforts of the Nigeria Hosting Committee for organizing this conference. It is one more evidence of Nigeria’s capacity for doing great things,’’ he added.
“It is our pride that your vision of professional journalism, training institutions in Nigeria has taken firm root,” he said. Your annual congress is holding in Nigeria during a period of global terrorism. Nigeria experiences that scourge through Boko Haram which has been technically degraded and has no territorial hold anywhere anymore in its North-East operational base.
“Internally displaced persons are gradually returning to their communities in reasonable safety and security. According to him, it is a reflection of the IPI’s assessment of Nigeria as a safe country that it gave the country the hosting rights for this conference.
In 2018, alone 43 journalists have been killed across the world and the attack ion journalism is on the rise. She said most often than not, most times they are threatened and in some cases killed to ensure that news is not being published. They are aware that killing journalist is a way of silencing them.