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World Press Freedom Day: A Healthy Press Is A Healthy Nation, By Ifeanyi Okali

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World Press Freedom Day: A Healthy Press Is A Healthy Nation, By Ifeanyi Okali
Ifeanyi Okali

Press freedom is the oxygen of democracy. In fact, without it, democracy will suffer a great setback. Democracy seems to be failing in Nigeria because freedom is more of theory than practical.

Many media houses were penalized by the government through the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) during and after the Endsars protest for exercising this freedom.

Recently, Channels TV was fined five (5) million naira for inviting a leader of IPOB to tell the world the reasons they have decided to embark on a journey to a vague end. Not so long ago, a media house was invaded by the military in Abuja for publishing something different from what the government wants to hear.

A lot of journalists have been silenced for projecting the voice of the voiceless.

READ ALSO: World Press Day: Mind How You Use Your Freedom, Buhari Tells Journalists

Though this ought not to be heard among us as the giant of Africa that is the reality on ground. No wonder the numbers of non-state actors continue to increase astronomically in the land.

Journalists on the other hand must shun the temptation to blackmail and jettison the ethics of the noble profession. The brown envelops syndrome has remained a hydra-headed challenge we must all do away with to be a virile fourth estate of the realm. A healthy press is a healthy nation.

As we celebrate this great day today, please, let’s remember to pray to God to heal our land so that we can enjoy the freedom of the press to the fullness.

Happy World Press Freedom Day!!

Ifeanyi Okali is the Executive Director ABN TV & Radio,
Editor In Chief/Publisher, Online Media Practitioner Association Of Nigeria (OMPAN)

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