Editorial

Media should not heat the polity

We are constrained once again to beam the searchlight on the Media as we gravitate towards the 2023 general elections that would include the presidential poll.
A few weeks ago we asked the mainstream media to strive to guide the political actors by setting the campaign agenda for them. Rather than being a mere channel for the politicians to hoodwink the masses with promises that never get fulfilled when they get into office, or to cause unnecessary tension by playing up our differences or even descend to exchange abuses and insults that heat the polity, the media, we advised, should set the pace in civil discourse.
But we regret to note that it is the media that is now stoking the fire that heats the polity by celebrating insubordination and quixotic rascality of people who seem not to absorb losses like sportsmen.
Where the media should spike dispatches that can only cause mayhem within the political parties, we see editors approving gleefully what produces exotic headlines and nothing more.
What, for instance, does it connote for Nigeria that the country has to fund her 2023 budget with borrowed funds ranging to 11 trillion Naira? Currently we are paying accumulated debt that exceeds the revenue of the country. Insecurity seems to be a new norm with hundreds of innocent fellow compatriots being abducted by terrorists almost on a daily basis while many more have been in the den of the criminals for years and practically forgotten.
Health, Education, Energy and Agriculture are critical areas that the media ought to interrogate those who aspire to rule us as to their manifestos and realistic plans of tackling them.
But the media comes up everyday regaling us with market square gossips of people travelling to London to talk about peace in their political parties.
Suddenly, the mainstream and traditional media find themselves competing with the unedited free-for-all so-called social media in manufacturing news that pander to the base of the undiscriminating masses. The result is heat and more heat that occasionally escalates to inter-ethnic or inter-religious violence.
We appeal, for the umpteenth time, to our colleagues to show more maturity and responsibility in carrying out our assigned and sacred duty as the fourth estate of the realm.

About the author

Christian Voice