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Don tasks govts, politicians on press freedom

By Patience Ogbodo

BAUCHI — A  lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication of the University of Maiduguri, Dr. Abubakar Mu’azu, has decried the monopoly of public-owned media by politicians and their seeming lack of tolerance for private-owned media saying the media is an important tool of protecting democracy from abuse and should be allowed to thrive.

Mu’azu stated this while presenting a paper titled, The Role of the Media in Nigeria’s 10 Years Democracy, during the 2009 Correspondents’ Week organised by the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Bauchi State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

He said it was high time politicians stopped seeing the media as a tool for promoting their interests.

According to him, “the media are not tools for promoting the personalities of politicians, but they are instruments for serving the public.

Though democracy involves a system of checks and balances between the three arms of government, the media exercises vigilance over them. No democracy is complete without a free and independent media.”

Muazu stated that the connection between the media and democracy was  not that of antagonism or subversion but one of contributing to the process of open, transparent and accountable governance in which the citizens get better and effective delivery of service by their government.

He said politicians need to realise that public office is a sacred trust in which public resource, including the media, are used judiciously.


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