Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has urged the Nigerian media to exercise a high level of professionalism and commitment to the ethics of the profession, especially, as the 2023 election inches closer.
He appealed to media practitioners to discard fake news, malicious reports, hate speech, and any act that could derail Nigeria’s democracy and divide the country.
The governor made the appeal at the 30th anniversary of the Nigeria Media Merit Awards (NMMA) held at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos on Sunday.
Sanwo-Olu, who was the Chief Host at the NMMA 30th anniversary, where awards were presented to outstanding print and broadcast journalists in about 40 categories, urged the media not to shy away from showcasing Lagos State and Nigeria in good light.
“Let me use this opportunity to lend my voice to the appeal by well-meaning compatriots to the media on the need to exercise a high level of professionalism and commitment to the ethics of the profession, especially, as the 2023 general election draws near.
“Even as the media holds powerful institutions to account, you must also reserve some of this scrutiny for yourselves, and ensure that there is no room for bad eggs and those, who seek to bring a noble reputation into disrepute.
“The times we are in call for great circumspection, and great fidelity to the timeless principles of journalism; accuracy, fairness, balance, integrity. Your standards must never be lowered for anything, and definitely not in this age in which social media and the internet enable the easy amplification of fake news and malicious reports, and hate speech, intended to give undue political advantage or to divide societies and derail democracy.
“I urge the media to continue to not shy away from showcasing Lagos State and Nigeria in good light, highlighting and projecting our social, economic, and cultural opportunities and potential, as we strive to attract more domestic and foreign investment into our economy, and position ourselves on the global stage.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu, who has received over 20 outstanding awards as Governor of the Year in many categories from different media organisations in the last three years, said his administration would continue to provide the enabling environment for media practitioners in Lagos State to thrive.