US govt to journalists: Amplify important issues that affect the citizens

United States Consul General, Claire Pierangelo, has charged media practitioners to be unrelenting in tracking political and institutional processes by which decisions are taken and implemented at the local, state and national levels.

This is as she noted the imperativeness for journalists to continue to help improve governance by amplifying important issues that affect the citizens.

Pierangelo gave this charge in her remarks at a webinar with Nigerian journalists themed: “Frontiers of Health Reporting: New Insights, Fresh Perspectives” to mark the 2021 World Press Freedom Day.

Noting that the public depended on reports of journalists to assess how their elected representatives are performing, Pierangelo urged journalists to constantly come up with reports that analyse the effectiveness of projects instituted by political institutions.

Stressing that a free press was essential to a healthy democracy, Pierangelo charged journalists to continue to help improve governance by raising citizen awareness of social issues, enabling citizens to hold their governments to account, curbing corruption, and creating a civic forum for debate.

She assured of the commitment of the United States government to building media capacity in Nigeria, especially enhancing health reporting, defence and national security reporting, investigative journalism, election reporting and media ethics.

Pierangelo said: “As media professionals, you must continue to track political and institutional processes by which decisions are taken and implemented at the local, state, and national levels. Your reports must critically analyze the methods and the effectiveness of projects in the field.

“The public depends on your reports – in print, audiovisual, and online – to assess how their elected representatives are performing. As journalists, you can assess how health budgets are managed and whether there are adequate checks and balances in place for effective governance. This is what allows citizens to know whether their local officials are fulfilling their promises and meeting their obligations.

“The U.S. government is committed to initiatives that build media capacity in Nigeria. For years, the U.S. Mission has funded training programs for hundreds of Nigerian journalists on topics ranging from health reporting, defence and national security reporting, investigative journalism, election reporting, to media ethics.”

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