Some eminent Nigerians on Tuesday called on the media to ensure a balanced reportage of electoral activities in order to consolidate the present political dispensation.
They made the call during the 70th anniversary and the unveiling of the new look of Tribune Newspapers held at Sheraton Hotels, Ikeja.
The theme of the event was: “Electoral Integrity, Legitimacy of Democratic Institution and Good Governance”.
Speaking on the role of media in the present political dispensation, the Presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, said the media must be unbiased.
He said: “The media must ensure that democracy is well protected. They need to stand up for truth and fairness. Unbiased reportage should be their watchword.
“What we need in the country is accurate coverage without fear or favour, not tilting towards any political party.
“We need the media to help us fight dictatorships in form of governance because they are the soul of the society; they should stop at nothing in promoting democracy we all yearn for.”
The presiding pastor, Latter Rain Assembly, Rev. Tunde Bakare, urged the media as the fourth estate of the realm to ensure that democracy was well preserved.
Bakare said: “The media is the fourth estate of the realm in procedural governance. The executive comes first, then the legislature and then the judiciary; next is the media.
“The media should shy away and shun sensationalism because they are the cornerstone of the society by helping them to know the truth.
“Sensationalism will not help us but get us into deeper trouble because news items should not be to the highest bidder. Also news should be to the benefit of the society.
“The media should shun stories that will incite people against the government; we need peace and security in our country.”
Former Governor of Kwara State, Chief Cornelius Adebayo, said that the media should be consistent in their reportage and shun partisan politics.
He said: “It is the appropriate time to discuss the role of the media in the political dispensation because we are celebrating one of the oldest newspapers in the country.
“There is a need for the media to know that they should be consistent in reporting because being impartial is relative, but the media must be consistent in their news items.”
Business Guru, Sir Kensington Adebutu, emphasised that the media should be the noise of the noiseless.
NAN reports that dignitaries at the event included the keynote speaker, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Rev. Mathew Kukah, Chief Femi Pedro, Chief Rueben Fasoranti, Maiden Ibru, Chief Gbenga Daniels among others.