The Relationship between the Government and the Media | Richard Imhoagene - ddttrh.info
NIGERIAN MEDIA LEADERS: VOICES BEYOND THE NEWSROOM is a in the relationship between government and media in the country. Debating Government-Media Relationship, By Yushau A. Shuaib understanding of Nigerians on the ongoing military's intervention in fighting. A multiplicity of media voices can be found in Nigeria largely because of the .. reported serious reservations about Nigeria's government-press relations.
The media and government: Partners in development or sworn adversaries?
This submission I argued, cannot hold if every person is investigating and probing into one another as a reporter, without a law by legislators to protect the people, and the existence of the judiciary to adjudicate over disputes and the executive arm to check excesses and unethical practices.
Such a society, I pointed out can only exist in a jungle, where there are no rules of law but animalistic interpersonal relationship. There is no problem with any government. Antics of some characters in government create the negative perceptions about public institutions. Added to the unbecoming and petty behaviours of some officials in government is the reality that public information management is very weak largely due to unskilled manpower, ill-equipped departments and political interference where a seeming straightforward and truthful information is deliberately distorted for egocentric ambitions of principals.
In fact the Freedom of Information Act FOI could not have been a necessity if the public information officers have been allowed to discharge their roles responsibly and professionally. A study and adherence to basic principles of Public Relations could be a clear guide for spokespersons rather than the fire brigade approach and combatant posture of such image managers to simple issue management. Therefore spokespersons, as the intermediaries between the government and the media, should not only rely on prerequisite and relevant qualifications and experiences but should have humane temperaments and friendly dispositions while discharging their responsibilities.
And contrary to the disposition in his first coming, when he felt that freedom of the press must be tampered with, the President has turned full circle. His democratic convictions have also come with a realization, understanding and appreciation of the roles of free media in the evolution of a new Nigeria.
The President is now in a democratic mode, and has asked for the right hand of fellowship of the media.Nigerian politics
And, what has the government done to display sincerity, and set the tone for collaboration with the media? It is striving to engender an environment that encourages freedom of the press.
There is free access to information and no journalist is harassed or intimated, at least not from official circles. This will be maintained in the months and years ahead. In fact, no effort will be spared to assist journalists do their work as professionally as possible. Permit me to sound like a salesman for a couple of minutes. Yes, as Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, I should be able to sell my principal and his ideals, or get the hell out of the job.
They sponsored all manner of falsehood and smear campaigns against the then APC candidate, Muhammadu Buhari. In fact, they were in mortal fear of the man, and threw everything at him, including the kitchen sink.
Managing Government, Media Relationship
However, all the efforts failed. On TV, radio, in newspapers, on the Internet, despite the dangling of financial inducement and patronages, the yearnings of the Nigerian people were still clearly portrayed. The rest, as they say, is history.
Shortly after his election, President Buhari, in a meeting with the press, acknowledged the key role they played in bringing about the much desired change in the country.
He thanked them for standing by him, for their support, even when he had no cash to dole out, unlike those he contested against. He also promised to work hand-in-hand with the press. And that is where we are now, as the promises are being kept to the letter.
Very significantly, on his very first day at the Presidential Villa, the President visited the State House Press Corps, where he interacted with them, and solicited their support. In this dispensation, the public and the press can expect statements on any issue of national concern, without having to rely on speculation or rumor. It is the right of the public to know. And we, the media managers of the President, are guided by that fact.
For us, it is a credo. If any issue of national importance arises, you can be sure that a press statement would soon provide further information and clarity. Gradually, this strategy should soon lay to rest the sad culture of a section of the media publishing speculations that eventually turn out to be false.
It was, therefore, another opportunity for goons and military apologist to rise to sensitive political offices on a platter of gold. The major achievement was to have sent the military to their traditional base before facing the unfolding realities of politics in the country.
It is easier for the media to strive in a democratic system despite the obvious institutional challenges it has to contend with.
The media and government: Partners in development or sworn adversaries? - Vanguard News Nigeria
With military rule naturally phasing out, the coast becomes clearer for a thriving working relationship between the government and the media.
But our present leadership at all levels must apply a meticulous caution to keep the putschists permanently at bay. To win the heart of Nigerians, our political leaders must ensure that they manage the state coffers with a sense of responsibility. They must realise that the media are corporate partners in the process of governance. They must not treat the media as enemies because the media is vested with the constitutional mandate of checking the excesses of power and holding political leaders accountable to their sworn mandate.
Managing post election tensions has always been a difficult task for Nigerians as cases of betrayal of trust, witch-hunting and other forms of mutual suspicion always rear their ugly heads. Lack of political ideology also devalues our political system, making politics a game of self appropriation rather than service.