Osinbajo Challenges Media To Be More Vigorous
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has challenged media professionals to be more efficient in carrying out their duties in order to help in effectively tackling the issues the country is being faced with.
While he commended the media for having played a good role so far in aiding democracy and holding public officers accountable among other things, he pointed out specific areas which he believes the media needs to ‘up its game’.
“Our press is and has always been one of the most vibrant in the world. I don’t think there is any doubt about that.
“Nigerians have always been people that love to talk and to express themselves and foreigners routinely mistake our random good-natured Nigerian conversations for bitter quarreling sometimes, on account of the stridency with which our argument sometimes are assembled and dismantled.
“So you can always take it for granted that no matter the intensity of the clampdown on press freedom in Nigeria, there will always be a prominent group of journalists, who will refuse to be cowed, who will seize every tool at their disposal to hold the authorities to account – and this will be as true a century from today as it was in the 1990’s,” he said.
Osinbajo made this known during a media chat on Saturday, at the 50th birthday celebration of a foremost journalist, Kadaria Ahmed.
Speaking further, he, however, noted that the media is particularly lacking in the area of archiving, noting that the ability to properly put into perspective issues from the past will aid the ability to provide solutions for present and future problems.
He, therefore, blamed the absence of sufficient archives on an absence of vision on the part of media professionals and urged them to return to basic principles guarding the media.
“You may not be able to blame financial challenges on the absence of archives. If anything, the blame should rest squarely on an absence of vision or a lack of understanding of the media’s role in the society. I think that we need to be more visionary about these things.
“But even more interesting is that perhaps some of the challenges that the media is confronted with could be solved by a return to basic principles to rediscovering and understanding our place in society.
“And I happen to think that a number of Nigerians, not to talk of foreigners, researchers, analysts, would even pay a premium for properly organized newspaper or TV or radio archives, dating back at least a few decades.”
The Vice President also took cognizance of the role the social media plays in driving change in society and called on influencers across the country to lend their voices to causes of great national importance.
“Social media in many cases is almost flaky in its response to those things – Yes there is a little bit of concern and the next moment, that’s gone off and there’s some other flavour.
“I think that influencers and the press in Nigeria, owe a special responsibility to this nation because the nature of our issues are peculiar and these issues are cross-cutting, they are fundamental, and we must face them and deal with them,” he stated.