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CSOs Advocate Press Freedom At Imo Media Seminar

A coalition of civil society organizations, CSOs, has called on government and stakeholders in the media industry to give room for press freedom to allow journalists carry out its social responsibilities effectively.

 

The groups made the call in Owerri, the Imo State capital, during a one day media seminar titled ‘The Role Of Media In Championing Governance, Accountability, Transparency and Inclusion’.

 

The seminar was attended by practicing journalists in the state.

 

The seminar aims to better equip media practitioners to advocate for good governance, hold public office holders accountable, and promote citizen participation in governance, according to the organisers, the Mac-Arthur Foundation, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, and Alliance For Africa.

 

The associations emphasised how important it is for the government, at all levels, and its agencies to create an environment that is favourable to media professionals working there.

 

One of the resource persons Mrs Nnennaya Eneremmadu, who spoke on the topic, “Understanding the importance of the media in championing good governance, transparency, accountability and inclusion’, pointed out that journalists face many challenges when carrying out their constitutional responsibilities to the society.

 

She said that because the media serves as society’s watchdog, it has a significant impact on forming and maintaining social cohesion between the people and the government.

 

Eneremmadu noted that the media is always the first to spearhead social reform initiatives when they are necessary.

 

Nevertheless, she lamented that despite the critical responsibilities journalists play in improving society, they still encounter several obstacles, the majority of which come from the very government that is supposed to be protecting them.

 

She outlined some of the major ways that the media influence society, including election observation, media advocacy-driven discourse facilitation mostly on social reforms, and educating and enlisting the public on political matters.

 

She also noted that the most important of all is investigative journalism which she said is on the decline.

 

“Investigative journalism enhances transparency in governance, encourages citizenship participation in governance and exposes ills of the society.”

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