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Media critical to survival of democracy, says cleric

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Prelate of the Benin United Baptist Church, Apostle Osama Usunalele, has described the media as critical to the survival of democracy.

Usunalele, who spoke at the 2019 Press Week organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo Broadcasting Service (EBS) chapel, in Benin City, urged the media to be careful with what they serve the public, stressing the need for balanced and objective reports.

He called on the state government to adequately equip EBS to comply with the digital age.

Delivering a lecture entitled ‘Social Media: Content Platform for Journalism and Good Governance’ at the event, a lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, University of Benin (UNIBEN), Dr. Daniel Ekhearofe, called on the Federal Government to amend the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) regulations for broadcast stations to accommodate social media content.

According to Ekhearofe, society would become a better place when the government gives people the opportunity to express themselves freely, adding that freedom of speech is critical to national development.

“Government can use the social media to galvanise public support, instead of placing restrictions on social media contents being used by broadcast stations,” he said.

He urged broadcast journalists to take advantage of social media to disseminate real-time information to the public.

The acting general manager of EBS, Ransley Abu-Osagie, harped on the need for media practitioners to improve by training on the job, to meet up with digital broadcasting.

Chairman of NUJ, EBS chapel, Oliver Ijiogbe, said the event was organised to take a retrospective look at the performance of the media and fashion ways to perform better.


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