Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has commended the courage and resilience of the Nigerian press in the sustenance and promotion of the tenets of democracy in the country.
Governor Ortom, in a goodwill message to commemorate this year’s World Press Freedom Day, said credit must be given to the press for the enduring democracy and its resilience in the face of daunting challenges to continue to inform, educate and entertain the populace.
The United Nations General Assembly declared May 3, every year to celebrate the media and appreciates the importance of press freedom globally. The theme of this year’s world press day is “Journalism Under Digital Siege.”
The Governor noted the harsh environment under which the Nigerian media operates and urged the Federal Government to consider subsidies and import waivers for media equipment.
This, he opined, will help the media industry survive the harsh economic environment and put it in better stead to contribute immensely to the socio-economic and political development of the country.
The Governor, therefore, enjoined the media to remain steadfast in the discharge of its duties pointing out that, “of all professions, it is only the Press that is empowered by the Constitution of Nigeria to hold governments and its functionaries accountable at all times.“
Ortom however counselled the media to always exercise caution in reporting issues that affect the security, welfare and wellbeing of citizens to avoid needless sensations.
He also appreciated the importance of the new media otherwise referred to as the social media as it disseminates information in real-time but was quick to point out that caution must be observed to verify facts before publishing.
This, he contended is necessary to avoid being ready tools in the hands of desperate politicians and mischief makers to use against opponents or perceived enemies.
While wishing the Nigerian press a successful celebration, Ortom urged them to continue to play their roles diligently in order to make society a safer and better place for all.