Press Freedom Day: Buhari marks day, calls for responsible media freedom

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the media to imbibe a sense of responsibility in exercising their right to press freedom, adding that they should avoid disseminating information that could worsen Nigeria’s fragile state.

President Buhari spoke yesterday in his goodwill message to mark this year’s World Press Freedom Day, admonishing that while it continues to carry out its traditional duties, the media must not give room to comments and feelings that are intended to hurt the nation’s unity.

According to a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President noted that freedom of the press is an irreducible minimum in a democracy that would flourish, adding that freedom must, however, be used responsibly.

“That everything is permitted does not mean that there are no rules of correctness, particularly in a polity seriously challenged as ours now,” President Buhari said.

“The media must be sensitive to what we are going through as a country and anything that would exacerbate the situation and further inflame passions and emotions, should be avoided.

“The media needs to ensure that while informing, educating, entertaining, and setting agenda for public discourse, it does not encourage incendiary words and actions that could further hurt our unity in diversity.”

Licentious freedom, the President said, is different from freedom with responsibility, and counselled the Nigerian media to embrace the latter, rather than the former.

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