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Brown Envelope Reporters Defacing Nigerian Media: U.S. Ambassador

Brown Envelope Reporters Defacing Nigerian Media: U.S. Ambassador

The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard has said that Brown envelope journalists are spoiling Nigeria’s media by eroding the public’s trust in the media. Information Guide Nigeria

As reported by Peoplesgazette, in Leonard’s words: “Brown envelope journalism undermines the public’s trust in the media, erodes journalistic integrity, and defeats the media’s ability to play a transparent oversight role over government actions”.

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According to Ms Leonard, one of the problems that democracy globally face is an “unfortunate, pervasive lack of trust in the media.”

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She lamented over the financial inducement of journalists, adding that the “practice corrodes the institutional position of the media as what we refer to as the “Fourth Estate,” or one of our pillars of democracy.

Speaking during a town hall meeting hosted by the Nigerian Guild of Editors on Thursday in Lagos, the U.S. ambassador said a team approach was needed to help improve public trust in the media.

The media-focused meetings and two-day workshops for over 200 editors will take place in turns in the six geopolitical zones across the country is supported by the U.S. embassy in Nigeria. jamb results

It was themed ‘Agenda Setting for Sustainable Democratic Culture’.

The U.S. ambassador also said access to accurate, unbiased information was critical to democracy.

“It ensures that citizens make responsible, informed choices rather than acting out of ignorance or misinformation. Information that is publicly accessible to all ensures that elected representatives uphold their oaths of office and carry out the wishes of those who elected them,” the U.S. envoy further noted.

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She added that the Nigerian media should ensure that citizen voices were heard, which might help reverse voter apathy.

“Too often Nigerian elections are personality-based and lose focus on critical issues such as unemployment, inflation, and lack of health care,” Ms Leonard stressed, adding that the media could hold the candidates accountable for discussing issues.

“Patronage politics, corruption, inequality, and the failure of many democratic governments to deliver for their citizens fuel public and media doubts about the democratic model, causing them to lose hope and accept the status quo as normal,” she stated.

The U.S. ambassador urged the media to pay attention not just to society’s problems but also to possible solutions.

“When you uncover stories that others have tried to hide or deny, inevitably prosecutions follow, and accountability is attained through the voice of the people at the ballot box”.

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Essien, Goodnews is a gruaduate of Communication Arts, University of Uyo, Uyo; Currently working at Infoguide Media as a news writer.

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