The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, has emphasized the importance of a free and vibrant media landscape to the success of democracy, expressing the government’s commitment to ensuring press freedom. He stated this while receiving executive members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists at his office on Tuesday, October 10, 2023.
He recognized the challenges journalists and media organizations face, including press freedom, access to information, and journalist safety.
The Minister noted that the Nigerian Union of Journalists plays a vital role in sustaining our democracy and urged practitioners and regulators to work together as partners in progress.
“The Ministry of Information and National Orientation is here to provide oversight and create a level playing field for all journalists, our goal being to ensure that journalists feel safe and encouraged to practice their profession”. He observed that while press freedom is valued, it is also crucial for practitioners to be responsible and provide accurate information to the Nigerian public.
He reiterated that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration had shown commitment to press freedom and creating a conducive environment for the Nigerian press to operate, and therefore charged practitioners to take advantage of this commitment and collaborate in repositioning and reorienting Nigerians for the benefit of our country’s development, peace, and unity.
“As the Minister of Information and National Orientation, I am committed to working collaboratively with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to address the challenges bedeviling the industry and promote a vibrant and responsible media landscape.”
Together, he noted, the principles that define the journalism profession and ensure press freedom, access to information, and the safety of journalists would be safeguarded.
Finally, the Minister re-echoed his strong dedication to nurturing a flourishing media environment with the backing of the Nigerian Union of Journalists and other stakeholders
In his remarks, Dr. Chris Isiguzo, the president of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, acknowledged the challenges faced by the media industry, including press freedom, access to information, journalist safety, and economic burdens. The NUJ, he said, sees the Minister as a major stakeholder and an ally in addressing these challenges and fostering a vibrant, independent, and responsible media landscape in Nigeria. He further said that the Nigerian Union of Journalists envisions a collaborative alliance with the ministry, built on shared commitment and optimism for the future.