Dapo Olorunyomi, the publisher of Premium Times, an investigative news portal has identified good journalism as the bedrock and lifeline of a good democracy.
Olorunyomi who made the point during a presentation at a two day training for journalists on budget tracking and data-driven journalism cosponsored by Premium Times and Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), in Abuja, noted that bad journalism is a death knell to democracy.
He noted that democracy died naturally when journalism decays noting that “there is a strong interface between journalism and democracy” adding that countries in which good journalism thrives are better governed than those in which journalism is weak.
He urged journalists to leverage on section 22 of the Nigerian constitution to hold government to account.
Olorunyomi noted that journalists must stick to the time tested ethical demands of the Profession for them to make the desired and necessary impact capable of eliciting positive changes in the polity.
He noted that for any journalist or media outfit to make the desired impact and elicit good governance, “its claims must be truthful and accurate, its discipline must be rooted in verification and practitioners must be independent and accountable to the readers/viewers/listeners and must promote public purpose.”
The publisher stressed that the moral precepts and values of any journalist or institution is the underlying element that shaped its overall perception and its ability to create the desired changes in the society noting that however journalist must be able to resolve ‘conflict of interest” which usually presents a moral dilemma in the discharge of their responsibilities.
He noted that a journalist must be able to discern between right and wrong, good versus evil and appropriate and inappropriate actions if he must be above board noting that such mindset always help journalists to resolve their moral dilemma in support of the good and to act appropriately.