Boko Haram: FG To Launch Media Campaign In Support Of Troops   

Why FG Made It ‘A Cardinal Principle’ To Tackle Insecurity – Lai Mohammed
Mr Lai Mohammed addresses a press conference in Abuja on December 10, 2018.

 

The Federal Government is set to launch a media campaign to support the Military in fighting insurgency in the northeast.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, stated this on Tuesday during a news conference in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

According to him, the reason for the media campaign is partly because of some media reports which he says could endanger the efforts of troops fighting insurgency.

“The activities of a section of the media and some opposition political parties are demoralising the military and is strengthening the insurgents,” he said.

Mohammed, however, believes that the nation is winning the war against terrorism and the troops will continue to do its best in that regard.

Reacting to the calls made by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the removal of Amina Zakari from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Minister said her appointed was made during the PDP’s administration.

READ ALSO: President Buhari Is Not My Cousin, He Is Not My Uncle – Amina Zakari

PDP Accuses APC Of Plot To Rig Elections, Demands Removal Of Amina Zakari

He stated that Zakari made her way into the electoral umpire following her appointment by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

“The PDP has nearly completely forgotten that she was appointed a commission in their own time.

“What has changed now? Whoever wants to circulate any audio or video clip should please do so in its entirety so the people can understand the context,” he said.

Trump Blames Media For ‘Division And Hatred’ In US

US Mail Bombing Suspect An Ardent Trump Supporter
US President Donald Trump speaks during an event on a year of progress and action to combat the opioid crisis, in the East Room of the White House on October 24, 2018 in Washington, DC. Brendan Smialowski / AFP

 

US President Donald Trump blamed the media once again Monday for “division and hatred” in the country as Americans took stock of a gunman’s attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue that killed 11 worshippers.

“The Fake News is doing everything in their power to blame Republicans, Conservatives and me for the division and hatred that has been going on for so long in our Country,” he said on Twitter.

“There is great anger in our Country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news,” Trump continued. “The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People, must stop the open & obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly.

“That will do much to put out the flame of Anger and Outrage and we will then be able to bring all sides together in Peace and Harmony. Fake News Must End!”

Trump had initially called for unity in the face of Saturday’s assault on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, in a week in which prominent Democrats were the targets of pipe bombs sent through the mail, allegedly by a Trump supporter in Florida.

But he quickly reverted to form, attacking the media and potential Democratic rivals for the presidency at a rally and on Twitter as Americans looked forward to crucial midterm elections November 6.

In an open letter Sunday, a group of Jewish leaders from Pittsburgh said Trump bore responsibility for encouraging white nationalist sentiments that led to the synagogue attack.

“For the past three years, your words and your policies have emboldened a growing white nationalist movement. You yourself called the murderer evil, but yesterday’s violence is the direct culmination of your influence,” the open letter said.

The signers said that until Trump fully denounced white nationalism he would not be welcome in Pittsburgh.

However, Jeffrey Myers, a Tree of Life rabbi who was in the synagogue when the heavily armed gunman burst in on worshippers, said Trump would be welcome if he visited.

“The president of the United States is always welcome. I’m a citizen. He’s my president. He is certainly welcome,” Myers said on CNN.

AFP

Pogba Banned From Speaking To Media After United Stalement

 

Paul Pogba said he was not allowed to talk after Manchester United failed to arrest their recent slump with a drab 0-0 Champions League draw against Valencia.

Jose Mourinho’s United have made their worst start to a league campaign in 29 years after an embarrassing 3-1 loss at West Ham and are already out of the League Cup.

Tuesday’s stalemate at Old Trafford was their fourth consecutive match without a win.

Many players avoided the post-match mixed zone interview area after the game to avoid awkward questions.

Pogba was among those to go through but told reporters “I’ve been told I’m not allowed (to talk).”

The French World Cup winner, who was last week told he would not captain the side again, appeared to get under Mourinho’s skin after their recent draw with Wolves by saying United should attack more.

Captain Antonio Valencia and midfielder Marouane Fellaini have both backed the manager despite the growing crisis at the club.

Valencia insisted he is “fully supportive” of Mourinho after appearing to back calls for the under-fire manager to leave.

The 33-year-old ‘liked’ an Instagram post from a fan account which said that “recently Mourinho has made watching us a punishment” and “it’s time for Mourinho to go”.

But he attempted to explain and apologise on Wednesday.

“Yesterday, I liked a post on Instagram without reading the text that accompanied the picture,” the right-back wrote on Twitter.

“These are not my views and I apologise for this. I am fully supportive of the manager and my teammates.”

“Everything will calm down when we get some wins,” the Ecuadoran added. “We are 100 per cent behind the manager.”

The players attempted to show a united front before kick-off by breaking with tradition and taking part in a pre-match huddle.

“Everyone is going in the same direction to try to improve and to do better,” Fellaini said of the on-pitch huddle. “I think we wanted to show that we are together.”

“I think we showed improvement and we have to keep going,” he added. “Everybody (was behind the idea). I think everybody is behind the manager.”

AFP

Be Fair In Reporting Govt Activities, Lai Mohammed Tells Media

Be Fair In Reporting Govt Activities, Lai Mohammed Tells Media
File photo: Mr Lai Mohammed

 

The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, has appealed to the media to always ensure fairness, impartiality, truth and accuracy in reporting the activities of government

He said this on Thursday in Abuja where he asked them to carry out their duties in line with the principles of responsible journalism.

READ ALSO: We Want To Be Fairly Reported, Buhari Tells Media

Mr Mohammed made the appeal in a statement by his media aide Segun Adeyemi, to mark the 2018 World Press Freedom Day with the theme “Keeping Power In Check: Media, Justice and the Rule of Law.”

He said that as an important pillar of democracy, the media must purge itself of all prejudice in order to be able to hold all the levels and arms of government to account.

The minister, however, commended the role of the media so far in promoting democracy in Nigeria, adding that they should strive to operate above political influence and interference.

He noted that as the political parties and the nation in general prepare for another electioneering process, the media must ensure the transparency of the entire political process through unbiased and objective reporting.

Mohammed was worried about how some vested political interests were allegedly exploring the media to promote divisions along ethnic and religious lines in the country, saying such unpatriotic conduct would not augur well for the nation’s unity and progress.

He stressed that the government was not unaware of the effort of mischief makers to use the social media, in particular, to undermine it and promote ethnic and religious crises, especially ahead of the forthcoming general elections.

The minister further restated the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to press freedom in the country.

He added that the present administration would continue to ensure that journalists are able to carry out their duties unfettered.

We Want To Be Fairly Reported, Buhari Tells Media

We Want To Be Fairly Reported, Buhari Tells Media
File photo

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the media to be mindful of fairness, justice, and national interest at all times in the course of its responsibilities.

The President said this in a statement on Wednesday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day which is observed every May 3.

Although he pledged an unfettered environment for the media to do its work, he noted that the responsibility was reciprocal.

“The media can count on us to keep our words, but we also want to be fairly reported,” President Buhari said. “The media should hold ethics of the noble profession sacrosanct and be wary of those bent on causing disaffection in the country.”

Reflecting on this year’s theme ‘Keeping Power In Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law’, the President reaffirmed his commitment to an atmosphere in which the media is free from harassment or any form of attack in the exercise of the profession, within the ambit of the law.

He stressed that a positively critical media was vital to national development, and the growth of the nation’s democracy.

President Buhari warned journalists that a media that cavils would only generate unwarranted tension in a plural society like Nigeria.

He said, “The world is in the throes of animosities generated by fake news and hate speech, often spawned by some media, particularly the digital variant called social media.

“On this World Press Freedom Day, those involved in the negative antics should reflect and ponder on how some countries have been thrown into a tailspin by irresponsible use of the media. We have no other country than Nigeria, and what we make of it is what we get.”

As the country prepares for its general elections next year, the President urged journalists to ensure they report the process fairly and without bias, irrespective of who is involved.

BON Chairman Challenges Broadcasters To Be Balanced, Objective And Fair

BON Chairman Challenges Media Operators On Greater Transparency, Accountability
BON Chairman, Mr John Momoh

 

The Chairman of Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), Mr John Momoh, has challenged media operators in the country, especially broadcasters to be more transparent in the course of their duties.

Mr Momoh, who is also the Chairman/CEO of Channels Media Group, said this on Wednesday while addressing BON 69th General Assembly in Lagos State.

“Greater transparency and accountability are much needed in the current climate of misinformation, political lies and widespread distrust.

“In the social and political circumstance that we live in, the broadcaster should strive to be a medium of moderation, in such a way as to relay information with decorum, with a logic of perspective, and to be dispassionate in news reporting,” he said.

READ ALSOJohn Momoh Addresses BON General Assembly [FULL TEXT]

The BON chairman noted that the rules and codes of practice of journalism had already highlighted balance, objectivity, and fairness as some of the key requirements in the profession.

He said that although the operators have a general understanding of these values; some keep them while others drop the ball in some cases.

As Nigeria steps into another critical time in its political life, Momoh urged the broadcasters to perform their roles creditably and professionally.

He also warned them to give careful thought to how content is being created, to avoid discrimination, lack of understanding, misinformation, intolerance and conflict.

He said, “There are several examples of where literal work or media content has been a source of great human conflict. There are also many examples of how a misguided broadcast has caused upheaval in societies, just because due regard for the rights or wishes of others have not been considered.

“We cannot also overstate our obligations as broadcasters, either in the moral or in the constitutional sense. In all the dimensions, the charge before us is not only very clear but also onerous, which is why we cannot afford to shirk our responsibilities.”

The Channels Media Group boss stressed further that the occurrence of hate speech cannot be undermined, with the growing influence of social media and its likely role in the forthcoming elections.

Momoh described hate speech as a great threat to national cohesion which can only be rivalled by physical harm, through maiming, and killings.

Some of the other speakers at the event are the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, as well as distinguished broadcaster and diplomat, Dr Christopher Kolade.

Professor Yakubu gave an insight into the preparations for the coming elections as it relates to the media, while Dr Kolade focused on hate speech in the build-up to the 2019 polls.

You Cannot Censor The Media, PDP Tells FG

You Cannot Censor The Media, PDP Tells FG

 

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has taken a swipe at the Federal Government over what it perceives as an attempt to censor the media.

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement on Thursday faulted the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, who briefed journalists on the government’s achievements so far.

“APC’s attempt to gag the media is pathetic, as no amount of censorship or bandying of false figures would stop Nigerians from reflecting on the real state of affairs in our country today,” he said while criticising the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Ologbondiyan believes President Muhammadu Buhari’s government seems to have dashed the expectations of numerous Nigerians.

He claimed that the minister gave “unverifiable statistics” of the government’s achievements when he received a team of journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.

The PDP spokesman noted that the purported failures of the Federal Government must not be downplayed by censoring the media.

“Nigerians know that the APC has failed and that the Buhari-led Presidency is directly responsible for the collapse of our economy, which was thriving under the PDP.

“They know that the torrents started buffeting the nation from May 29, 2015, and no amount of propaganda and futile efforts to censor the media by the APC will change the facts,” Ologbondiyan said.

The statement read further: “While we note the minister’s snap that the media should contextualise their reporting, we ask; how else should the media contextualise the sudden collapse of the economy with the naira tumbling from N197/ 1USD in 2015 when PDP handed over power, to N360-N400/ 1USD, without placing the blame at the doorsteps of President Muhammadu Buhari and his dysfunctional APC?

“How else should the media contextualise the fact that under the Buhari Government, over 8 million Nigerians lost their jobs between 2016 to 2017; 16 million were unemployed, 18 million more were underemployed, while another 27.44 million refused to work in 2016 for various reasons related to frustration in the polity?”

The PDP further reiterated that the government should accept its failures and seek help from well-meaning Nigerians.

Macron Boots French Media From Presidential Press Room

Macron 'Happy' Merkel Coalition Deal In Sight
File: French President Emmanuel Macron speaks at the Elysee Palace in Paris,                IMAGE:LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP

The French presidency announced Wednesday that it is kicking reporters out of the Elysee Palace and down the street in a move that symbolises Emmanuel Macron’s desire to keep the media at arm’s length.

Reporters have had a press room inside the Elysee for the past four decades from which to cover press conferences, foreign leaders’ visits and other events.

AFP and other news agencies have permanent desks there, notably allowing them to see who is arriving for meetings with the president thanks to the press room’s location overlooking the main courtyard.

But Macron’s communications advisor Sibeth Ndiaye told reporters the presidency had decided to move the press room into an annexe down the street “in order to make it bigger”.

The move will take place by the summer, she said.

Asked if Macron was trying to “get the press out of the way”, Ndiaye said that was “not the president’s intention”.

Macron had made no secret of his desire to see journalists booted from the main Elysee building when he was elected in May, but the idea was put on the backburner after it prompted an uproar from the media.

The current press room will become a meeting room for presidential advisors, Ndiaye said, insisting the decision was made for “practical reasons”.

The move is the latest of a string of signs from Macron that he intends to keep a much tighter leash on the media than his gossip-loving predecessor Francois Hollande.

Hollande regularly chatted to reporters off-the-record and was ultimately damaged by a tell-all book, “A President Shouldn’t Say That”, published at the end of his term based on his conversations with two political journalists.

Macron gave a nearly two-hour briefing to reporters on a range of issues on Tuesday night, but press access to the president has so far been tightly controlled.

He drew mockery early in his presidency for comparing his job to that of the Roman king of the gods Jupiter, staying above the fray of daily politics and giving few interviews.

Centre-right president Valery Giscard d’Estaing, in power from 1974 to 1981, was the first to allow journalists an office at the Elysee.

His Socialist successor Francois Mitterrand moved it to its current location on the courtyard, where journalists can watch the comings and goings, in order to boost transparency.

AFP

Republican Senator Slams Trump For Stalin-Like Attacks On Media

We Want Immigrants 'From Everywhere' To Come To US - Trump
US President Donald Trump
NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP

A maverick senator from Donald Trump’s own Republican party launched a stinging attack on the president on Wednesday, accusing him of employing Stalinist language to attack and undermine the free press.

Arizona lawmaker Jeff Flake levelled the broadside in an address from the Senate floor, timed to coincide with the expected announcement of controversial “Fake News Awards” by Trump’s administration.

Flake — an outspoken critic of the president who is not seeking re-election this year — hit out at what he called Trump’s disregard for the truth, and his repeated designation of the news media as an “enemy.”

“The ‘enemy of the people’ was how the president of the United States called the free press in 2017,” Flake told lawmakers.

“Mr. President, it is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Joseph Stalin to describe his enemies,” he said.

“So fraught with malice was the phrase ‘enemy of the people,’ that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use.”

Flake accused Trump’s White House of a “daily assault” on the constitutionally protected right to free speech, calling it “as unprecedented as it is unwarranted.”

And he accused Trump of committing “moral vandalism” against the truth, from his longtime questioning of Barack Obama’s birth certificate to his dismissal of Russian meddling in the 2016 election as a “hoax” — and warned he was emboldening authoritarian regimes around the world to persecute the press.

“2017 was a year which saw the truth — objective, empirical, evidence-based truth more battered and abused than any time in the history of our country, at the hands of the biggest figure in our government,” Flake said.

“Without truth and a principled fidelity to truth and to shared facts, Mr President, our democracy will not last,” he warned.

Trump tweeted last week that he would be awarding “Fake News Awards” to the “most corrupt & biased of the Mainstream Media” this Wednesday — but the White House has remained evasive on whether the controversial event, already once delayed, would take place.

AFP

Obama Warns Of Social Media Dangers, In Interview With Prince Harry

Former US President Barack Obama told Britain’s Prince Harry he was concerned social media was “corroding civil discourse”, in what he said was his first interview since leaving the White House, aired Wednesday.

“One of the dangers of the internet is that people can have entirely different realities,” he told the prince, who was guest editing BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“They can be cocooned in information that reinforces their current biases. Things aren’t as simple as they’ve been portrayed in whatever chat room you’ve been in,” he added.

“The question has to do with how do we harness this technology in a way that allows a multiplicity of voices, allows a diversity of views, but doesn’t lead to a Balkanisation of society and allows ways of finding common ground.”

The interview was recorded in Toronto, Canada, in September on the sidelines of the Invictus Games, the athletic tournament created by Harry for wounded former soldiers.

Despite admitting concern over the future of the US, Obama, who did not mention his successor Donald Trump by name, said he felt a sense of “serenity” on leaving the White House.

“There was a sense that we had run a good race,” he added.

On his new routine, Obama told the prince: “I wake up later, it’s wonderful to be able to control your day.”

The prince opened the discussion by saying: “This is the first interview you’ve said ‘yes’ to doing since you handed over the reins”, to which Obama replied: “that’s true”.

Harry is due to marry his US actress girlfriend Megan Markle on May 19 at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle near London.

According to British press reports, civil servants are concerned that a wedding invite from the couple to Obama could cause a further rift between Britain and Trump following a series of high-profile spats.

AFP

65 Journalists, Media Workers Killed Globally In 2017

Sixty-five journalists and media workers were killed worldwide in 2017, according to annual figures published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Tuesday.

Among them were 50 professional reporters, the lowest toll in 14 years. However, the downward trend is due at least in part to journalists giving up working in the world’s deadliest spots.

War-torn Syria remains the most dangerous country in the world for journalists, RSF said, with 12 reporters killed, followed by Mexico where 11 were assassinated.

They included Javier Valdez, one of the most prominent chroniclers of Mexico’s deadly drug war, whose murder in May sparked a public outcry.

The 50-year-old AFP contributor was shot dead in broad daylight in the street in the violent northwestern state of Sinaloa.

His last book, “Narco-journalism”, recounted the tribulations of Mexican reporters who try to cover the country’s extremely violent “narcos” drug cartels.

RSF said Mexico was the deadliest country not at war, saying those who “cover political corruption or organised crime are often systemically targeted, threatened and gunned down.”

– ‘Alarming comments’ –

The Philippines has become Asia’s most dangerous country for reporters, with at least five journalists being shot in the last year, four of whom died of their injuries.

The rise comes after what RSF called an “alarming comment” by President Rodrigo Duterte who said in May that “just because you’re a journalist you are not exempted from assassination if you’re a son of a bitch.”

No journalists were killed in the country the previous year.

The overall number of professional reporters slain worldwide, however, fell to its lowest number in 14 years, RSF said.

Of the 65 killed, the report said 39 were murdered, while the rest died in the line of duty — collateral victims of deadly circumstances likes air strikes or suicide bombings.

The group said that the drop in the death rate may be because journalists were now being better trained and protected for war zones.

“The downward trend is also due to journalists abandoning countries that have become too dangerous,” it added.

“Countries such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya have been haemorrhaging journalists.” But the trend is not confined to countries at war, RSF added.

– Turkey jails most journalists –

“Many journalists have either fled abroad or abandoned journalism in Mexico, where the criminal cartels and local politicians have imposed a reign of terror,” it said.

Turkey is the world’s biggest prison for professional journalists, the figures show, with 42 reporters and one media worker behind bars.

“Criticising the government, working for a ‘suspect’ media outlet, contacting a sensitive source or even just using an encrypted messaging service all constitute grounds for jailing journalists on terrorism charges,” the report said.

With 52 languishing in jail, China, however, continues to lead the table when bloggers are taken into account.

RSF accused Beijing of toughening its “arsenal of measures for persecuting journalists and bloggers.

“The government no longer sentences its opponents to death but instead deliberately lets their health deteriorate in prison until they die,” it added, referring to the deaths of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo and dissident blogger Yang Tongyan, who both died of cancer this year after being diagnosed in prison.

Syria (24), Iran (23) and Vietnam (19) were the other top five jailers of journalists.

AFP

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.