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World Press Freedom Day: NASS Will Continue To Support Free Press In Nigeria – Dogara

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Speaker
of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara says no
society can grow without an active press to monitor and report its
activities, and restated the commitment of the National Assembly to
continue to enact laws which will create a conducive environment for
journalism to thrive in the country.

In
a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs,
Turaki Hassan, to mark World Press Freedom Day, which is observed the
world over on May 2nd,  Mr Dogara also expressed concern over Nigeria’s
international press freedom index, saying that it is disheartening that
the Press Freedom Index – released last Wednesday by Reporters Without
Borders (RWBl) – ranked Nigeria 122 out of 180 countries examined.
The
Speaker further argued that the role the media plays in the development
of a country as watchdog – especially in a democracy – cannot be
overemphasized, and called on the Nigerian media to partner with the
present administration to make its task of fighting corruption a
success, not only by objective  reporting but through investigative
journalism.
Mr Dogara
assured Journalists that the House of Representatives, being aware that the press
must be free to truly be the watchdog of the society, will continue to
support measures to promote press freedom in Nigeria, especially through
laws that facilitate the practice of  journalism such as the Freedom of
Information Act, which was passed by the National Assembly in 2011.
“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 to organize their
lives in such a manner that delivers social progress and economic
development,” he explained.
“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 in
that 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
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.”

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