I write to applaud members of the media for bringing vital information to the public and for allowing viewpoints – especially in the emerging oil and gas sector. Without the media, the public would not have known about secretive deals with the oil companies or on parking meters or so much wasteful expenditures or funds paid for the unbuilt highway, the nation is being robbed of royalties.
The media is referred to as the fourth estate or fourth branch of government. It is not elected by the people, but it acts in the interests of the nation by reporting on events and policies and in holding governments (politicians and the public) accountable. Governments and politicians need to stop being hostile to the media for doing its work – reporting and commenting about issues – and provide reporters (journalists) access to information. Governments should not be secretive about their plans and programmes. They are servants of the state who pay their salaries. They must provide access to the media and cooperate in investigative journalism to root out fraud and corruption.
Politicians and governments don’t like to be exposed for their transgressions. But without exposure, there would not be corrective actions. I have been penning news reports and commentaries for some 45 years and served in management of media. I had my shares of attacks from politicians and even business folks during this period. Politicians hate those of us in the media who expose lies, flaws, and skullduggeries. They view media people as enemies.
The media’s job is to educate the public of happenings and exposing wrong doings. Media people are empowered by the public to hold the government and politicians accountable. The public depends on the media to know what is happening locally and nationally.
The media should not be friends to anyone. It must be fair, balanced and fearless without offering special favours to or favourable commentaries about anyone.
A free and unfettered media (access to information from the government and political groups and bodies dealing with the public) is what provides accountability. Media folks should not be loathed or harassed or intimidated. They should be admired and applauded for their work. Media people should not be attacked or sidelined for reporting facts and or exposing wrong doings. Members of the media should be praised and honored for their work in forcing governments and politicians to do the right things.
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