The Speaker House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has expressed concern over Nigeria’s International Press Freedom Index.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, to mark World Press Freedom Day, Dogara described, as disheartening, the ranking of Nigeria on the 122 spot out of 180 countries on the Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders (RWBl).
He said the House of Representatives will enact more laws which will provide conducive environment for journalism to thrive in the country, such as the Freedom of Information Act, which was passed by the National Assembly in 2011.
The Speaker acknowledged the role the media played in promoting democracy, and delivering social progress and economic development.
He said: “it is disheartening that the Press Freedom Index – released last Wednesday by Reporters Without Borders (RWBl) – ranked Nigeria 122 out of 180 countries examined.”“We all know the role of the media in promoting democracy, because democracy itself guarantees nothing, it’s just a set of ideals that people utilizing the freedom that democracy brings apply to organize their lives in such a manner that delivers social progress and economic development.“The media serves as one of the voices of democracy and I believe that beyond all the roles played by all others, the media is far ahead because it keeps the citizens informed about what government is doing and that enables them to hold public officials accountable, for instance, to the promises that they made,” he explained.
He further urged practitioners to strive to ensure that there’s always timely, accurate and balanced reportage and decried the situation whereby some professionals engage in brinkmanship or politicizing their content, saying that such acts “tend to endanger democracy, because in that way, citizens aren’t well informed.”