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Falana: Media must self-regulate to avoid government intrusion

Falana: Media must self-regulate to avoid government intrusion
July 13
20:32 2021

Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has advised media organisations to work on self-regulatory policies, before the government takes it as its responsibility.

Falana said this on Tuesday, at the 13th Wole Soyinka Centre media lecture series, titled, ‘Remaking Nigeria: Towards a Secure and Viable Union’.

According to the human rights lawyer, the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), and the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) should urgently meet to decide on new codes of conduct for the media.

His remarks come on the heels of the moves by the national assembly, through Olusegun Odebunmi, a lawmaker from Oyo, to amend the laws establishing the Nigerian Press Council (NPC) and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

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Although, TheCable had earlier reported that Odebunmi said the legislative process on the bills has been suspended, Falana said he believes media professionals should be proactive in regulating the industry to curb government influence.

“I beg the media, and we must not be sentimental about it, you have to self-regulate. There is a lot of mess going on, and if you don’t self-regulate, they are going to regulate you,” he said.

“I’m challenging the NPAN, NUJ, and the Guild of Editors to meet urgently and bring out some new codes of conduct, because today, two people or one person can sit down in his house, set up an online medium, and begin to send any message; some of them are going to blackmail.

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“So, that must be addressed. We must not wait for the government to do that.”

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