The Director-General of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Mansur Liman, has lamented what he described as self-censorship of media practitioners in government outfits.
Liman spoke on Wednesday at the 14th Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism’s media lecture with the theme, ‘Can democracy work without a strong sub- national media?’
Liman said he had never given his staff members barriers within which to operate despite being a government agency.
He said, “Nobody tells us what to do. I have been on this road for the past six years. Nobody has passed a paper to me to say I should not cover a particular story.
“What I found out coming from the BBC is because people in public media have been there for ages, they self censor themselves. It is a very difficult situation.”
He added that due to immediate gains, some journalists abdicate their responsibilities, with the excuse that they are operating with a government organisation.
“When you have a journalist scrambling to be posted to a particular ministry, probably because of the things that they get, if that particular journalist is scrambling to be sent to the ministry of course when you send him, he won’t do the job that you want him to perform,” he said.
In his closing remarks, Board Chairman, Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism, Prof. Ropo Sekoni, lauded participants while calling for conscious efforts towards restoring the dignity of journalism.
He said, “I have educated myself about the challenges facing us at the corporate level. We don’t have enough money to execute the job of a watchdog.
“Even at the private level, many of us are at the risk of training journalists to look for money first to do their own job. There is no other way to abuse any job than this.”