By Appolos Christian
Stakeholders in the media industry across Nigeria, have been asked to maximumly engage in the process that seeks to amend the Act that established Nigerian Press Council.
The Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts Workers’ Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU), through its National President, Comrade Kabir Garba Tsanni, further said that the vibrancy of the media in the country going forward would largely depend on how stakeholders in the industry engage in the ongoing process.
Comrade Kabir Garba Tsanni, who said this when he spoke on the issues concerning the Act amendment, said that a vibrant press literarily amounts to vibrant democracy in every nation, thus the need for stakeholders in the media to close ranks to ensure a robust and strengthening of Nigerian press.
He went on to call on all media persons in the country to form a consensus on the ongoing exercise considering the role of media in nation building.
“All relevant stakeholders in the media should close ranks and smoothen areas of disagreement for robust legislation that will make the Nigerian Press to remain virile and responsible to the cardinal values of factual reportage and responsive journalism.
“As the watch-dog of society, the press deserves all the support it needs. However, the press also owes the society the sacrosanct duty of standing by the truth and at all times for a better society to be achieved.
“Thus, while self-regulation is a global trend and desirable, having a consensus regulation of the press by stakeholders is simply unavoidable considering the critical role that the media plays in the society.
“Rather than give the proposed Press Council Bill a bad name in order to hang it, stakeholders are encouraged to engage so as to have a legislation that will promote press development and responsible journalism.
” RATTAWU commends the House of Representatives for the initiative and calls on well-meaning individuals and organisations to work towards having a responsible Press Culture in Nigeria.
“The media in Nigeria must be allowed to operate as freely as is possible and within the ambit of laws and statutes. It is by so doing that the media will remain as unpolluted oxygen to democracy and good governance”.