The Federal Government (FG) has threatened to determine the activities of the media agencies. Media agencies have criticized the FG and branding its plans as ‘an attack on free speech. The FG’s plan is coming just three weeks after their controversial ban on Twitter.
Stephanie Adams, the programme officer of media freedoms at the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism, said,
“It is deeply disturbing and is causing a lot of concern for us who work in the media,”
Although the regulation has not been voted on, it gives the government the authority to choose members of the press council. The government, with this amendment, would be able to punish misconduct from journalists.
“It’s an attack on the independence of the media. The board should be a composition from various media and other relevant stakeholders,” she said. “Not appointed by the federal government or the minister of information. There should be some form of autonomy.”
The amendment could even see journalists go to jail for even 3 years.
Twitter ban by FG still in place amidst media agencies inclusion
The FG has also said that social media platforms should register with the country’s regulators. However, the ban on Twitter is currently still in place, three weeks after it was suspended by the FG.
The government also suspended Twitter because the app’s role in organising mass protests.
Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s minister of information and culture, has criticized the CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey. Mohammed called-out Dorsey for funding #Endsars protest in October 2020.
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