The “PRESS” is being saddled with the responsibility of giving out unbiased information to the people at the right time so that they will be aware of what is happening in their society. What is required of them in their ethical standard is to “speak the truth” therefore, they are expected to live up to their expectations as the ” voice of the people”.
The role of the press cannot be overstated in any democratic setting. They serve as an instrument through which the government can reach the people and the people can reach the government. They promote political awareness and national consciousness but when they’re being intimidated to disseminate information, opinions, and ideas as a result of a threat then how will they reach out to people through the use of newspapers, television, radio, and other means of communication
The irony of it is that even though the freedom of the press was embedded in 1the 999Nigeria constitution but it rarely exists As a journalist, it is expected of you to point out the deformities in your society, whether a government is responsible and accountable but you can’t do this as a journalist because you’ll be accused of sedition.
The inadequacy of freedom given to the press has been in existence since the colonial era. During the colonial era, the media were not involved, there’s no public opinion and this has affected our constitution in the sense that, the independence granted to Nigeria by British authority lacked national consciousness. For instance, section 39 of 1the 999 Nigeria constitution subsection (1) states that “every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including the freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference…” Section 45 of 1999 Nigeria constitution limits or derogate that aforementioned right and this has enabled our government to engage in secrecy, denying the press access to government books and records.
As we’ve discovered that gagging the press has done more harm than good to our society then it should be checked. To put an end to it, the government must reform the constitution concerning the freedom of the press, the press should be given access to government records to carry the people along and the media as a whole should not misuse their opportunity.