Uyo — National Security Adviser Mohammed Sambo Dasuki has stressed the need for total remodelling of the role of the Nigerian media in line with a paradigm shift in national purpose.
Delivering a keynote address at the 8th Nigerian Editors Conference in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State yesterday, Dasuki said this became necessary if the press must perform its role of shaping the future positively as an instrument of information and education.
"I put it to you that there is a paradigm shift in national purpose. The nation has set clear goals in the area of economy and security; so it is time to rethink the role of the media and explore how as, instrument of information and education, you can be at the forefront of shaping our future positively", he said.
In real democracies, according to him, the citizens are the clients of the press and editors, and therefore have the right to be informed about the dangers of terrorism and what steps to take to minimise the potentials of being victims of armed robbery and kidnapping.
Represented Prof. Adesuji Adeyola, the national security adviser also said the press must assist the citizens and help security forces defeat dangerous elements and build resistance to extremists and indoctrination by extremists.
The press, according to him, must constitute a natural partner of government in public education, awareness building, information dissemination and building national cohesion, saying "when we talk about the nation's transformation agenda, the media itself has to be at the forefront of change".
"I am frequently concerned about some of the headlines I read and the tendency of some of our partners in the media to select sensational headlines, especially in quoting security agents or government officials. While I understand that the purpose of the media is to sell publications, it is also important we must strike a balance when it comes to national security", he said.