PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has commended journalists and tasked them on adhering to the ethics of the journalism profession as a way of contributing to meaningfully to the development of the nation.
Buhari, who made the goodwill gesture as the World celebrates Press Freedom Day, said, “without adherence to ethics, professions turn awry, and become part of national malaise, rather than solutions.’’
The Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), Mr Femi Adesina, in statement Thursday noted that the Buhari had been more concerned about journalists constantly recommitting to the canons of fairness.
Stated the President, “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.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that 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.
Buhari urged the media to reflect on the destructive effects of fake news, misinformation and disinformation before, during and after the polls.
The President 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.
He stated further that: “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.”