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THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS AS AN ELIXIR TO A CORRUPT SOCIETY

 

The data of press freedom ranking of 2018 world press freedom index has encouraged journalists to take part in the hiding game from threat, assassination and other matters that deal with lives and property sabotage. Nigeria, being the giant of Africa is on the 119th position with Central African Republic, Afghanistan and Israel being above it on the list. According to violations of press freedom barometer in 2018 alone, 25 journalists were killed, 6 citizen journalists were taken off and 2 media assistants were also killed. As at the time of ranking, 171 journalists were imprisoned, 132 citizen journalists were imprisoned while 15 media assistants were imprisoned.

An elixir is termed a sweet liquid used in compounding medicines in order to mask unpleasant taste. The press has always been under attacks of the big men, especially the management of the school. Anything written by the press which is to address the public or private sector always appears demonic and defamatory even if true. This at time makes some opinion writers to go hard on some people in the public. Obviously, when campus journalists put the minds on paper or sum the mind of people in a title, they become enemies in a gathering of humans like them.

Meanwhile, it is high time the public knew all that press freedom can be good for. The press in its holistic mode is not a foe to any unlike politics which shows people the love they want because of the power it would take from them, afterwards, drawing a wide line between the governed and the governors. The freedom of the press is the right to circulate opinions in print without censorship by the government. Imagine that you are writing an investigative story to check if the increment in accommodation fee has improved the standard of the halls. You have evidences among the students and some lecturers have given some facts that back your finding. Publishing the article should have followed but some top officials noticed and try every way to block such article from reaching the public domain. This is why the press needs the freedom to express itself, air the voices of others without any form of intimidation which have not been granted.

Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right. It reinforces all other human rights, allowing societies to develop and progress. The ability to express one’s opinion and speak freely is essential to bring change in society. Among the legacy to freedom, it is pertinent to note that speech is the sum of all expressions. Peter Tatchell, a human right activist once stated that going against people who have different views and challenging them is the best way to move forward. There is a reason for why freedom is costlier in this generation which is because of those who, through freedom have put themselves into bondage. Free speech does not mean giving bigots a free pass. It really includes the moral imperative to challenge and protest against bigoted views.

Scott Alexander, a charity tech worker in Scotland also said that an essential part of democracy is the right of the people to freely debate the merits of any situation or proposal: whether that is a policy issue, a person’s candidacy for public office or a topical issue. Without freedom of speech, people may be hindered from participating in such debate or may be limited in what they would say. He outlined that the principle of free speech maintains that for effective democracy to exist, no individual should be actively prevented from publicly speaking on any subject that is in the public interest. Whereas, freedom of speech is different from freedom of expression in that the former allows you to express any opinion without being punished but the latter respects the right to publish and distribute factual information and opinion. Freedom of speech is about what one can say and that of the press is about to whom you can say it. This creates a wider border that is filled with challenges faced by journalists.

In every setting, moderation is always welcome and the press is a form of moderation to political brouhaha, information and all sorts of official whims. It is a form of fulcrum which helps two heads to see each other and agree base on the facts and figure presented. It is just noticed that no matter how truthful a finding is, the press has been beguiled into believing that it is free to do more findings and several horns of war have been blown over it. It is a truism that anyone who becomes adamant and stiffened against the press has a big-wig demonic deed he does not want to be exposed. Meanwhile, the press has never acted as if it has the right to investigate every case, but it has the right to do so by the ways.

It is important for the general public to be good supporter of the press and front its freedom to save the secret things from their closet. The reason for creating the press is because it has seen a society, so much corrupt that only the holistic arm can do an unbiased finding. A mature government will not do without the press to checkmate some other duties on his cabinet and make findings if there is any form of loss or backslide. Annihilating the press, killing journalists does not stop secrets from being exposed. The essence of the press is to create balance in the political sphere by even informing those that are very close to a particular party. If a government allows this, it is very close to say there will not be a lack in such tenure.

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