Journalism in Nigeria is an apology. A lot of unprofessional and unethical means have been used to attract the public and raise readership or viewership.
Bias, sentiments, exaggerated news and unverified accusation or allegations are the norm in our media houses. These were prominent during the just concluded elections. We cannot deny this.Very few media outlets still retain bits of sanity. And by few, I cannot count even two of such.
But then again, you have to understand that we are in a democratic era where people can say whatever they want and however they like. That is what Freedom of Press and Freedom of Expression entails.
A proper recourse to slanderous or libelous content is a redress by a court of competent jurisdiction.You have the right to spit out what’s in your head and heart, but that right can be questioned. It is not an absolute right.
As a lawyer, I see nothing wrong legally with the actions taken by Buhari who is very much a private citizen against AIT by barring them from covering his private events and activities. No matter what interpretation we want, Buhari is still a private citizen with some elevated advantage until May 29.
He didn’t “ban” AIT. [He has no such powers] He “barred” them from being given access to events which he considered as private events. He has not stopped them from broadcasting about him or saying whatever they want freely. He has just made sure that when other media houses are given press tags for his events, these are denied to AIT journalists.Access of the media to private events is not automatic. You have to be given permission and this is what he is withholding from AIT.
I for one do not support him or his actions but it is what it is.(I will withhold my personal sentiments on this issue for now)
Written by – Enwongo C. Cleopas