• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Press freedom advocates sound alarm for digital era challenges

Press Freedom
Stakeholders have canvassed press freedom in today’s digital age for the media to effectively play its role in society and for democracy to strive in the country.
They stated this on Thursday at the Business Day policy series with the theme; ‘Strategies for safeguarding press freedom in the increasing digital age’.
The BusinessDay policy series focused on safeguarding press freedom in the growing digital landscape.
Speaking at the event,  Richard Ikiebe, Chairman of the Board of Directors for BusinessDay Limited, addressed the challenges faced by journalists today.
Ikiebe emphasised the media’s critical role as a watchdog against corruption arguing that a vibrant and free press is essential for building the Africa we envision.
This freedom, however, is often threatened by politicians who recognize the media’s power to shape public opinion and potentially influence elections. As a result, he highlighted the tendency of politicians to seek control of media outlets.

The discussion also addressed the unique threats posed by the digital age, where Gbenga Sesan pointed out that Nigeria’s current cybercrime law, enacted in 2015, is outdated. With the introduction of a new law in 2024, journalists need to be proactive in understanding and potentially challenging its implications.

Sesan further emphasised the need for journalism to take on a more activist role in Nigeria. He argued that journalists must be vigilant in challenging processes and holding powerful figures accountable. This suggests a shift towards a more investigative and critical approach to journalism.

The Business Day policy series provided a platform for discussing the importance of press freedom in Nigeria’s digital age, highlighting the need for the protection of journalists, addressing the threats faced by journalists, both online and offline, modernised legal frameworks, ensuring that cybercrime laws are fair and do not stifle legitimate journalism, more proactive media encouraging investigative journalism and holding powerful institutions accountable.