*says advent of social media changes fortune of journalism in Nigeria, worldwide
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Adeolu Akande has disclosed that the media is important in the quest for good governance by playing the role of watchdog, civic forum and agenda setting for government.
Professor Akande made this known while delivering this year’s Oyo NUJ annual lecture entitled “Revisiting the role of Journalism in Good Governance in Nigeria” held at the union’s Press centre in Iyaganku area of Ibadan.
The NCC Chairman stressed that the media promotes good governance by playing the role of watchdog, civic forum and agenda setting for government, adding that “many elements of good governance like transparency, accountability, greater participation in government, access to information, rule of law and human rights, cannot be achieved without the media.
To appreciate the importance of the media further, Professor Akande called on the Federal Government to bail out the media industry from total collapse., saying, presently, the media industry is going through trying period and should not be allowed to go into paralysis because of its critical role in promoting good governance and national development.
The NCC Chairman maintained that just like the collapse of banking and aviation sectors would affect the economy adversely, the collapse of the media industry will equally have devastating effect on the society, as the media promotes good governance by playing the role of watchdog, civic forum and agenda setting for government.
Commenting on the impact of social media to the society in the recent times, Professor Akande Adeola disclosed that only good governance can silence social media from its criticism of government
“When government performs well, the social media is abuzz with praises for the government. When government fails, the social media is abuzz with condemnation. The best way to silence the social media is to strive and do well,”.
While identifying paid news journalism and social media as two new developments with great impact on the role of journalism in promoting good governance, the NCC Chairmane declared said paid news journalism is the institutionalised commercialisation of news, which undermines the credibility of the media before the public because news ought to be well researched and objective.
“The public takes whatever news that come from the media as gospel truth. When it turns out that such news are not teue or not objective and altruistically produced,this erodes the confidence of the public in the media and weakens its capacity to promote good governance.”
Stressing that the advent of the social media has changed the fortune of journalism in Nigeria and worldwide, the NCC Chairman maintained that the social media produces news real time and offer other services the media offers in a way that challenges the continued existence of the mainstream media even while its excesses has raised concerns in many quarters.