Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President Buhari on Media and Publicity has urged community-based media outlets in the country against publishing content that reinforces emotions of pessimism and discouragement.
Speaking at the 30th Anniversary of Prestige Newspaper, a community news medium in Abeokuta, Ogun State’s capital, Adesina advised community media to strive for accuracy and truth in their reporting in order to foster peace and serenity in Nigeria.
Adesina, who was represented by Yinka Fabowale, a former editor of the SUN newspaper, stressed that community-based media outlets have a responsibility to inform the general public about government actions at all levels.
According to Adesina, the media is responsible for informing the public about the climate change bill as well as the amendment bill signed into law by Buhari in November.
He stated, “The media, including local media, has a responsibility to educate themselves about what governments are doing.” It means taking lengthier pauses from journalism and delving beyond social media attitudes to learn about real-life ‘in group’ situations.
“If the Federal Government says that the Economic Sustainability Plan has supplied stimulus money to tens of thousands of Nigerians and households, the media should track them down and interview them.”
“In November, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Climate Change Bill and the AMCON Amendment Bill into law. These new restrictions should be thoroughly investigated and explained to the public through community media.”
In his views, Dada Olanipekun, the publisher of Prestige newspaper, argued that the existence of community-based publications is contingent on consistency and the ability to withstand criticism.
He claims that one of the challenges facing community newspapers is a lack of funding.