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Lai Mohammed Minister says Nigerian media is among most vibrant in Africa

Mohammed made the comment on Tuesday, June 21, 2016, during the 3rd Forum on China-Africa Media Cooperation in Beijing, China.

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Minister of Information Lai Mohammed briefs the media on the town of Bama liberated from Boko Haram, during a news conference in Abuja, Nigeria December 8, 2015. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde play Minister of Information Lai Mohammed briefs the media on the town of Bama liberated from Boko Haram, during a news conference in Abuja, Nigeria December 8, 2015. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said that the Nigerian media is among the most vibrant in Africa.

Mohammed made the comment on Tuesday, June 21, 2016, during the 3rd Forum on China-Africa Media Cooperation in Beijing, China.

“Of course, the Nigerian media is a veteran of the country’s battle of independence, and of the battle to end long years of military rule in the country,” he said.

“Battle hardened over the years and empowered by the Constitution and the relatively new Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, you take on the Nigerian media at your own peril.

“On our part as Government, we do not intend to do anything to stifle press freedom. Media practitioners have nothing to fear from us. Of course, as I hinted earlier, we are the ones who have much to fear from the media practitioners.

“As a government, we believe that democracy itself is imperiled when the media is in chains. We see the media as a partner in progress, not some enemy to be crushed. But we also expect a high level of responsible journalism, the type that puts the collective interest above individual consideration, the type that safeguards the truth rather than push out rumors as fact.

“Putting the awesome power of the media in the hands of not just professional journalists but citizen journalists, many of whom neither subscribe to any code of ethics nor respect the laws of the land, could be catastrophic. Little wonder then that rumours have donned the garb of the truth and reputations long built and nurtured are being rubbished under the guise of the Social Media," he added.

Mohammed also said that the Nigerian government doesn’t intend to regulate the media.

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