• Comments: 0
  • Posted by: Imoh Robert

The President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Fellows of the Guild, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, most respected Resource Persons, Civil Society Groups, Pro-media Rights Organisations, Traditional Rulers, other Distinguished Guests, Distinguished Editors, Ladies and Gentlemen, this is an auspicious opportunity for Nigerian Editors to do a thorough examination and assessment of the performance of the media in consolidating Nigeria’s Democracy.

The Nigerian media has a vast history of performance and we cannot forget in a hurry the front-line role the media played in the anti-colonial struggles and the battle to upstage the military and enthrone democracy. Some of the Editors paid the supreme price during those struggles. I do not think the Nigerian society has been fair to the Nigerian Editors in the failure or negligence to acknowledge their roles and sacrifices. I am delighted to be invited to this forum which has been carefully designed to assess the media performance which will also serve as training for the Editors. It is gratifying to note that the Town Hall Meeting is enjoying the assistance of the United States. I take particular note of the Theme: “Agenda Setting for Sustainable Democratic Culture”. I do not have any record to suggest that the media has departed from this role and for me, what is most appropriate is the strengthening of this role. This will be helpful to the present democratic dispensation which has been shaken by Nigeria’s unstable political culture.

There is no doubt that the Nigerian people rely on the media to shape the Nigerian democracy and save it from being dented by what has become political rascality and ineptitude. That reposes huge responsibilities on the Editors to sharpen their agenda setting role.

As a media Executive that I am, I must admit. that there are evidently some drawbacks and lapses in our Agenda Setting role. These are attributable to the clear polarisation of the media which is made explicitly possible by the politicisation of the media.

For instance, the media is negligent in setting the direction in terms of leadership recruitment for Nigeria. Each organsation feels rather comfortable in taking positions partly on regional, ethnic and sometimes survival consideration.

There are plethora of examples and I will leave that to the Resource Persons. For me, the takeaway from this Town Hall Meeting is that this forum will serve as a refresher course for the Editors and permit me, Mr. President of the Guild, to recommend that this initiative be sustained.

I challenge the Resource Persons invited to this Town Hall Meeting not to neglect to point out the weak links and the lapses and indeed formulate the processes for redressing them. I have no doubt in my mind that the Resource Persons will do justice to this all important issue.

Author: Imoh Robert

Leave a Reply