4 May 2012

Nigeria: Maku to Journalists - Don't Take Freedom of Information Law for Granted

The Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku has called on journalists not to take for granted the freedom of information bill that was passed into law by the Jonathan administration but advised that the law should be utilised with the highest level of integrity.

Maku made the call during a ministerial platform in Abuja yesterday even as he hinted that not long ago there was a law forbidding journalists from reporting any thing that concerns the government.

According to him, "This country was used to putting our journalists in jail. The press had to go underground during the military especially after the annulment of 1993 elections, many lost their lives, and many lost their jobs. We must never take the freedom we have for granted. People fought for it, struggled for it and today we can declare to the rest of the world that our press is one of the freest in the universe".

He therefore called on journalists to reflect on their contributions to national development and also to reflect on their mission as professionals to ensure democracy, freedom and liberty in the development of the country.

The minister called on the print media to work harder in making sure that the newspapers are well produced and also the right grammar was used.

"We have great newspapers, but we must work harder to ensure that we get better, from the editorial to every report, we must work hard at it. In secondary schools we were told that when you read something in the paper it is the correct English, in fact it was like a bible. Today we have a situation where there are too many mistakes in our stories.

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